Each year, in recognition of the outstanding job our Tour Leaders do, we run the Explore Tour Leader of the Year Awards. Part of the prize that the winner and runners up receive is some money to donate to a local charity of their choice. Our 2012 winners have all been busy using their prizes to good effect.
Julius ‘Whitey’ White – Winner
Whitey leads many of our treks up Mount Kilimanjaro. Whitey has chosen to support a community based organisation based in Moshi called Kilipaper. Found in 1999, the charity works to conserve the Njoro Juu Spring – the water source for twelve villages in Moshi’s lowland district. Kilipaper uses local labour and resources to produce hand-made, sustainable paper products to fund Kiviwama’s conservation projects. The charity is responsible for growing and planting trees to restore deforested areas in the Kilimanjaro region. More information about the charity can be found on their website - http://www.kilipaper.itgo.com/
Zafer Yucedag – Runner Up
Zafer leads some of our tours in Turkey. He has chosen to support a UN accredited youth development organisation called YEKUV (21st Century Education and Culture Foundation). The charity provides scholarships to young people from rural areas who don’t always have access to good quality education. Over the last 20 years they have handed out over 20,000 scholarships. Zafer says: “It is very nice to help the university students who come to the big cities from rural areas for education. They are working hard for the equality of opportunity in education – that’s why I chose YEKUV.”
Myo Set – Runner Up
Myo Set leads some of our tours in Burma. Myo Set chose to use his donation to support a rehabilitation centre for 70 homeless disabled people in the village of War Net Chaung near Yangon. After talking to the centre about what they needed, Myo Set then went on a shopping spree and bought medicine, flip-flops, underwear, rain coats, buckets and hose pipe. He then travelled to the centre with his family to hand over the much-needed items which were gratefully received. Myo Set would like to thank everyone who voted for him – without your votes he would not have been able to support this very worthwhile charity.
Wit Nawabol Panotha – Runner Up
Wit is one of our longest-serving leaders in Thailand. He has decided to support Big Brother Mouse – a non-profit organisation in Luang Prabang, Laos which assists young people with their education. The organisation is aiming to help young Laotians develop new skills to improve their future prospects. In 2012 more than 125,000 rural Lao children were given a book – typically the first book they had ever owned – following a Big Brother Mouse book party. To find out more about this organisation, visit their website: http://www.bigbrothermouse.com/