Giving Back in Asia
Since 2006, Selective Asia has been directly investing in the lives and lands of the communities and regions we operate within. We support the retention and promotion of local cultures, and work alongside organisations that we believe are bettering the lives of the people, wildlife and environment in our destinations.
It is our firm belief that by bringing our clients to Asia, we are duty-bound to promote good travel practices, and we do everything within our power to ensure that the communities we love to travel amongst are flourishing.
What is Selective Asia doing?
As a tour operator specialising in Asia we are committed to donating a percentage of profits to charitable foundations and organisations within Asia and to fund initiatives we arrange ourselves.
With so many worthwhile charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) operating throughout Asia, it's never going to be easy to provide a complete range of projects and funds. Our local teams carefully handpick our partner charities. In most cases we've been working with them for a number of years, but we're always looking out for new ways to help. Our charity initiative lets us donate our own funds, and provides a suitable structure for clients who wish to contribute safely towards truly worthwhile causes.
We encourage those of you who can to join us in donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee. Although we usually prefer to support grassroots organisations, in this instance the DEC, which coordinates 13 leading UK aid agencies, is best equipped to swiftly and directly help the Rohingya people.
Our current initiatives include:
One Bottle at a Time
In 2017, Annie (one of our Destination Specialists), set us the challenge of reducing plastic water bottle waste in Asia by a given number of bottles in the year ahead. In order to achieve this, she introduced us to a revolutionary new water bottle provider.
Never one to shirk a challenge, and longtime advocates of better refuse and recycling practice in the region (our guides have actively promoted the cause on their shirts since 2009), we have set about changing the way we operate.
To meet the challenge, we must tackle our two main sources of plastic bottles - the drinking water that you'll obtain for yourself, as well as the water we provide in your vehicles. We have worked with our local partners to introduce a scheme that allows our clients to refill their reusable bottles from water stations at key partner hotels and portable water canisters, which are carried in the vehicles we use. You can find out more about our One Bottle at a Time project here.
Creating brighter futures
How many times have you returned from holiday with a few foreign coins and notes littered throughout your pockets and bags? When you leave the country you've visited with us, you can place your leftover change and any further contributions you wish to make in the envelope we'll give you. Hand it to your guide, and they'll return it to our local office to be donated. If you ask nicely, they might even show you where to find the nearest ATM...
If you can help, thank you - a little can go a surprisingly long way.
Lone Buffalo are an inspirational community project based in Phonsavan (north-eastern Laos) dedicated to improving opportunities for young people from rural backgrounds through their free English tuition, sport and creative skills programmes. Besides the excellent work done in the classroom, LB also operate an acclaimed football coaching programme and have branched out into film-making, offering students fun, diverse opportunities to develop.
The project was co-founded by Mark Steadman, who lives in Phonsavan and now leads the occasional Limited Edition Laos tour for us!
Selective Asia proudly sponsor Class 3C and have been avidly following their development (like a proud parent!) since 2015. The students, who are in their early teens, have progressed from Beginner level through Advanced Beginner to Elementary, although some struggle with pronunciation and grammar (who doesn’t?). We don’t get to personally visit the project as often as we’d like, however many of our clients who travel to Phonsavan stop by the English Development Centre and witness first-hand the extraordinary work taking place there.
Watch a short video introducing the project presented by Mark, Introducing Lone Buffalo and filmed in part by students, and be sure to check out their website at http://www.lonebuffalo.org/
Friends of Conservation (FOC) is a UK registered charity working in the field to protect endangered wildlife at risk from poaching, habitat loss and other threats. We work closely with local communities, offering practical solutions for sustainable living. Our activities include wildlife monitoring/protection, conservation education, reforestation and renewable fuel initiatives. We also work with partner organisations and with the support of wildlife experts Jonathan and Angela Scott are supporting ‘Leopard Guardians', a programme intended to help safeguard leopards in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka - one of the best places in the world to see leopard. If you would like to support this project, please click here to be directed to FOC’s secure donation site.
The ChildSafe Network carries out vital work throughout the Asia region, helping to protect children from danger and prevent them from being placed in abusive situations. The ChildSafe Network aims to build a protective environment for children, especially street children, to safeguard them from a range of dangers including domestic violence, trafficking, sexual and labour exploitation, and drug use.
Travellers often, unknowingly, increase the vulnerability of the situation by giving directly to street children and beggars. ChildSafe runs pro-active programmes to help discourage such acts and educate tourists in more practical ways of helping children move away from life on the streets.
World Wildlife Foundation
The WWF consider that the biggest threat to the Asian elephant today is the destruction of their natural habitat, often due to logging, agriculture and the expansion of urban areas. These combined threats disturb the traditional migration corridors and interfere with an elephants search for food, often leading to starvation. In addition, the mindless trade in elephant products, such as ivory, continues to cause great harm and unimaginable suffering to elephants across the region, as it does around the world. The final part of the WWF's focus is examining the impact that elephants have on the livelihoods of the communities that live alongside them, introducing programmes that link economic development with animal conservation.
MAG - Laos
Every day, around 12 people are killed or suffer horrific injuries because of landmines and other explosive weapons. These weapons are indiscriminate killers during and after conflict. They don't obey ceasefire agreements. MAG's vision is a safe and secure future for men, women and children affected by armed violence and conflict. Working in over 40 countries, many in the Asian region, since 1989; MAG are saving lives and building safe futures by reclaiming land contaminated with the remnants of conflict and finding ways to reduce the daily risk of death or injury for civilians. To find out more please click here.
Animals Asia promotes compassion and respect for all animals and works to bring about long-term change. A key focus of their work focuses on ending the barbaric bear bile trade, which sees over 10,000 bears kept on bile farms in China, and, according to official figures, almost 1,000 suffering the same fate in Vietnam.
Animals Asia also works to end the trade in dogs and cats for food in China and Vietnam, and lobbies to improve the welfare of companion animals, promote humane population management and prevent the cross-border export of "meat dogs" in Asia.
The Orangutan Appeal UK
For many the only reason for wanting to visit Borneo is a chance to see, and spend time with, the mesmerising orang-utans; guaranteed to provide hour after hour of amusement and entertainment to those that visit the few sanctuaries to be found in Sabah and Sarawak. The Orangutan Appeal UK (a registered UK charity) is dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orang-utans and the conservation of their habitat. By providing support and funding for projects across Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo, the appeal strives to protect remaining wild populations of orang-utans.