The following is the entry sent in by the winner of our August 2014 photo competition, Carrie Shoultz. Thanks, Carrie, for the beautiful photo and for raising awareness about the elephants' plight in Thailand.
My photo is of The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
When travelling in Thailand there are so many different opportunities to interact with incredible animals, including the Thai elephant. However, dig a little deeper and you'll find that the animal tourism has been tragic for most of these animals. The incredibly social elephant is removed from its mother as young as 6 months of age and "broken" through phajaan training. They are taught to fear their mahouts and then brought to the streets to beg and do tricks for tourists. As they get older, they are taken to trekking camps where they are given drugs to keep them from sleeping so that they they load as many groups of tourists on their backs as possible.
The Elephant Nature Park rescues disabled elephants from these horrendous conditions. The elephants at the park will never again experience chains or the bull hook. They come to the park blind, deaf, with broken backs, hips, and feet. But, at the park they find freedom.
I had the amazing opportunity to take part in their week long Journey to Freedom project in the mountains where the Karen tribes live. The park pays the Karen to keep their elephants in the mountains, instead of sending them to the cities to make money from tourism. I spent a week climbing the mountains in one of the most untouched places I've ever been. And we interacted with these amazing animals, but we did not ride them and they did not perform tricks for us. They were simply free to be elephants.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand I *beg* you to please reconsider buying that banana to feed to the elephant on the street, don't pay to ride the elephants in the trekking camps. Seek out organizations that focus on the elephants' well-being over tourists' entertainment.
Sent in by Carrie Shoultz
Thanks so much to all those who entered our competition last week. We’ve been flattered by the expressions of interest in the Scrubba wash bag, impressed by all the adventures taking place around the world and wowed by some of the amazing photos and stories we received.
From campers across America, including the deserts of the mid-West, the lakes of Michigan and Oregon and the serenity of Minnesota to the Alaskan mines, people living ‘off the grid’ (Connecticut seemed particularly interested in this concept), frequent flyers, military service men and women, sailors, cruisers, climbers, west coast surfers and Maui beach-goers, right across the globe in Ireland, India, Peru, the Sierra Mountains and the islands of St. Lucia, your photos and stories have been much appreciated!
Some entries that made us laugh were Kristy McCoy, for friendly “pants-licking sheep”. The Scrubba wash bag may have removed those sheep saliva stains indeed! Jennifer Crowl, glad your luggage eventually turned up and sorry that you lived on so few clothing items for 2 weeks without washing facilities!
We are so pleased to see so many people doing things for great causes too. Thank you, Karen Tep, for climbing 7 summits to raise awareness for human trafficking.
Some photos of special mention include Crater Lake, the Cascades, the Catalina Islands, St Lucia, the Grand Bahama Islands and Mt Drum, Alaska. Thank you so much for these beautiful submissions.
The winner of this month’s photo competition is Carrie Shoultz’s for ‘The Elephant Nature Park’ in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Thank you, Carrie, for this beautiful photo and for raising awareness of the ‘Journey to Freedom’ project. Your commitment to community service through the Peace Corp is most noble. Now you won’t have to hand wash for 27 weeks! Congratulations!
Thanks again to all those who entered. We hope you have enjoyed participating and will continue to follow us and enter future competitions and giveaways.
Access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation saves lives in developing countries and can help education and the local economy. The team at the Scrubba wash bag are pleased to announce that they have donated USD15,000 to charity: water. The donation will fund the plumbing of a school water system in Bangladesh that will provide clean water and vital hygiene and sanitation training to the students and 750 people in the neighboring area.
The team at the Scrubba wash bag would like to thank all our customers over the last 2 years and everyone who supported our recent social media campaign where we committed to donating $1 per new Facebook like and $20-$100 for photos and videos sent to us by our supporters. The following are a handful of our supporters who sent in photos of themselves using the Scrubba wash bag:
"This donation of $15,000 will be first of many significant water projects that the Scrubba wash bag will support in the near future" said managing director and patent attorney Ash Newland. "The current project will take 18 months to complete and we will provide updates on the project as it moves forward. At the end of the 18 months, we will be able to provide photos and GPS coordinates of the project".
If you wish to support a similar project to this one or find out more about where our $15,000 donating is going, head to charity: water.
It’s worth safe drinking water for Khan and his school friends in Bangladesh!
The Scrubba wash bag team are donating up to $15,000 to charity: water to provide safe drinking water for up to 750 people in Bangladesh and you can help!
All you have to do is:
- Take a photo of yourself using the Scrubba wash bag or holding it somewhere cool (maybe on your travels or somewhere near your home);
- Post the photo on our Facebook page or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before June 26 2014 and we will donate $20 (that’s safe drinking water for one student)
- Ask your friends to like the Scrubba wash bag Facebook page. For every new ‘like’, we will donate $1 towards the project.
This is how easy it is to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to one child in need:
The project will provide an ongoing supply of clean and safe drinking water for around 750 people as well as training in water and sanitation hygiene. With 16% of people in Bangladesh lacking access to water and 42% lacking access to sanitation, this project will be vital to the school and nearby communities.
The Scrubba wash bag is the world's most portable washing machine and it has helped travelers all around the world travel lighter and cleaner. It is the best way to wash clothes when camping, traveling or backpacking. The Scrubba wash bag team are also committed to helping those in need, particularly those without access to one of the most basic human needs: clean drinking water and sanitation.
This campaign runs until 26 June 2014. For each suitable photo received before this date, the Scrubba wash bag will donate $20.00 to charity: water towards this project. For each new Facebook like (the campaign started at 19,849 likes), the Scrubba wash bag will donate $1.00. By submitting a photo, the submitter confirms that they have the copyright to the photo and provides us with permission to use the photo on our website and social media.
From now until 26 June 2014, the team at the Scrubba wash bag will donate up to $15,000 to charity: water to build the infrastructure required to plumb a water system for a school in Bangladesh. The project will provide an on-going supply of clean and safe drinking water for around 750 people as well as vital training in water and sanitation hygiene.
You can help us reach the target simply by liking us on Facebook and encouraging your friends to do the same. For each new like (we are starting the campaign at 19,849 likes), the team at the Scrubba wash bag will donate $1.00 towards the project.
For the last 2 years, the Scrubba wash bag (aka the world's first pocket-sized washing machine) has helped travelers all around the world travel lighter and cleaner. The Scrubba wash bag team are also committed to helping those in need, particularly those without access to one the most basic and vital human needs: clean drinking water and sanitation.
“This donation of up to $15,000 is the first of many large donations we plan to make in the coming years”, managing director Ash Newland said. “We have selected charity: water for this donation as they offer a great level of transparency and reporting. We think it is important that our supporters can see exactly what project they helped fund and in most cases even look up the location with GPS coordinates”.
The video below shows what difference access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities can make to children at school. Clean drinking water and sanitation also saves lives and improves health, which are vital in countries such as Bangladesh where:
- 16% of the population lack access to water
- 42% of the population lack access to sanitation
- 31.5% of the population live below poverty line
Help us reach our target, like us on Facebook and spread word about this campaign.