Wild Frontiers Foundation - Annual Report 2021
2021 was a consolidation year for the Wild Frontiers Foundation. Again with limited general fundraising opportunities due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the past 12 months was spent supporting our existing partners and projects through the ongoing challenging times.
Projects Supported in 2021
• Baleygon Village Community School, Pakistan
• Classroom sponsorship at Lone Buffalo English School, Laos
• Gondar Girls Football Team, Ethiopia
• Student Scholarship, Pakistan
• Pole Pole Foundation, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Souk E Tayeb Community Kitchen, Lebanon
• Camara Education, Ethiopia
Unable to proceed with a number of planned fundraising initiatives, due to COVID 19 restrictions, funding channels were again limited in 2021. However, we are grateful to generous individuals who donated during the year to help support our work, including several donations from Wild Frontiers Travel clients who wished to support specific charitable projects during a second difficult pandemic year for partners.
Baleygon Community School – Pakistan
Our partnership with the Felix Foundation Baltistan, who took over the management of the Wild Frontiers Foundation school in the village of Baleygon, northern Pakistan, entered its second year.
The partnership between the Wild Frontiers Foundation and the Felix Foundation Baltistan, was established in January 2020 to help secure the future of the village school in the remote Hushe Valley.
As a result of the COVID pandemic, progress for the school didn’t go to plan in 2020 and it suffered with delays in opening, further disruption due to on-going government restrictions and low attendance in the few months the school was open.
The priority for early 2021 was to continue discussions with the Felix Foundation Baltistan to reassess the facilities in the village and the educational needs across all age-groups, with the view to better utilise the school and increase enrolment for the new academic year starting in the spring.
This resulted in the Felix Foundation Baltistan and the Wild Frontiers Foundation sponsored school now working alongside the small government school in the village, to provide more space and facilities for all students from nursery through to Year 6, with the support of five teachers.
Working together, nursery students are now also being accommodated into the school community with 30 children (including 11 girls) enrolled in 2021.
Re-building the Baleygon Village School has been Wild Frontiers biggest and most challenging project to date, spanning over 10 years. It was a proud day in 2012 when all came to fruition and the new school was officially opened amid much fanfare and celebration in the village.
Over the years enjoyed watching the children progress and grow, while continuing to fund the development of the school. However, without the ability to monitor the management of the school closely and continuously from the UK, it became increasingly difficult to ensure the quality of the students’ education, attendance, and school upkeep, so in late 2019 we began talks with the Felix Foundation Baltistan, which supports and manages schools in the valley, catering for approximately 1500 students from infants to secondary school.
With the blessing of the Baleygon village community, the school management was officially transferred in February 2020 with the Wild Frontiers Foundation as caretakers.
Classroom Sponsorship - Lone Buffalo English School, Laos
The Wild Frontiers Foundation continued to support the class sponsorship programme at the Lone Buffalo English School in northern Laos, marking the seventh year of our partnership.
Co-founded by Wild Frontiers tour leader Mark Steadman, the school nurtures students from the rural communities around Phonsavan from beginners' level through to gaining their high school certificate, providing every opportunity to move on to higher education.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt face-to-face lessons during the past 12-months, Lone Buffalo established a home-schooling programme and supplied students with tablets so that virtual teaching continued when the school was closed.
On top of the classroom sponsorship, the Wild Frontiers Foundation received a generous donation of £500 from a Wild Frontiers Travel client who wished to support Lone Buffalo. This funding contributed to new equipment for the Lone Buffalo student film making initiative.
Gondar Girls’ Football Team - Ethiopia
The foundation continued to support the Gondar girls’ football team in 2021, having kicked off a new partnership with Learning Together Ethiopia (formerly Link Ethiopia) the year prior.
The initiative, which supports the activities of the team in the northern Ethiopian town of Gondar, aims to develop the girls’ football skills while promoting gender equality, self-confidence, fun and fitness. The programme also runs regular information sessions for the 20 girls on puberty, sexual health, family planning, and the right over their bodies, along with providing menstrual hygiene management kits.
During 2021, the team of 20 trained on weekends, when possible, and participated in their first tournament in August. The project is opening new opportunities, with one of the girls selected by the Gondar University Football team.
With funds from the original grant remaining, the programme will continue to run in 2022.
University Scholarship – Pakistan
A scholarship student, supported by the Wild Frontiers Foundation for the past four years, graduated from university with a degree in natural science (environmental studies, forest welfare, sustainability in rural communities). The student, from the Kalash Valleys minority pagan community, has an ambition to use his degree to work within the remote region to help address environmental issues that threaten the community’s traditional way of life high in the mountains.
The Pole Pole Foundation – Democratic Republic of Congo
A generous donation of £1000 received from a Wild Frontiers client, who wished to support the work of our partner the Pole Pole Foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will help fund a student scholarship programme.
Souk E Tayeb Community Kitchen - in Beirut, Lebanon
We received a donation from a Wild Frontiers Travel client, who wished to contribute £1000 to a Lebanese charity supporting local people through the Beirut explosion, COVID and current economic crisis.
We chose to support non-profit Souk E Tayeb and their community kitchen in Beirut, a non-profit organisation that Wild Frontiers Travel had an existing relationship with.
The donation enabled the community kitchen to provide 1380 meals to those in need.
Camara Education – Ethiopia
Surplus computer equipment, including 10 desktop computers and 14 monitors, were donated to Camara Education by Wild Frontiers Travel.
The fee for collection and data removal was covered by the Wild Frontiers Foundation as a donation to Camera Education, who recycle and redistribute the computers to schools in Africa. The Wild Frontiers Foundation has been working with Camara Education since 2012, having sponsored the set up of computer classrooms in three schools in Ethiopia.
As the travel industry slowly re-opens and we look towards a more fruitful year, we can kickstart a new fundraising initiative in which Wild Frontiers Travel will make a donation to the foundation on behalf of every person that travels in 2022. This will help to inject new funds into the foundation and will go towards the continued support of our current project partners. While able to approach the next 12 months with greater optimism, we again see 2022 as a consolidation year in which we will work with our existing partners and begin to plan ahead with new initiatives for 2023.