RacingThePlanet Community Challenge Giving Back
GIVING BACK: During these troubled times, each of the local communities where we host our races are facing challenging economic times. The majority of races have been postponed until 2021, the lack of tourism and additional income from RacingThePlanet and its racers has had an effect. As we reach each location, charity and donation details will be made to a specific organization at the local level. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so through this link.
We will release details about the charity and donation when we collectively reach each of the following locations:
- Khar Bukh Balgas Fortress, MONGOLIA (Camp 1 of the Gobi March (Mongolia) - see full details below)
- Tbilisi, GEORGIA (Host town of RacingThePlanet: Georgia 2021 - see full details below)
- Swakopmund, NAMIBIA (Host town of the Namib Race (Namibia) - see full details below)
- San Pedro de Atacama, CHILE (Host town of the Atacama Crossing (Chile) - see full details below)
- King George Island, ANTARCTICA (first stop of The Last Desert (Antarctica) - see full details below)
Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project
As our first charity, we are very happy to support the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project which researches, breeds, and trains Mongolian Bankhar livestock protection dogs. They place the working dogs in homes of nomadic herding families on the Mongolian steppe, where the Bankhar perform their traditional role of protecting livestock herds against snow leopards, wolves, foxes and eagles. We are also excited that the family who may receive the Bankhar is closely linked to our very own RacingThePlanet Community. Some of you may know Jacqueline Eastridge, she is a 4 Deserts Club member, regular volunteer, and a woman who likes to do good things in the world. From 2018 - 2020 Jacqueline volunteered with the US Peace Corps in Mongolia. The Mongolian family which hosted her lives very close to the Gobi March course, and are in need of a Bankhar dog to help protect their livestock. We hope to welcome them to the finish line of the Gobi March 2021! Read more about this incredible story.
The next area to highlight receiving support from you is Javakheti, Georgia. This isolated and undiscovered region in south-west Georgia is where we have the opportunity to host RacingThePlanet: Georgia 2021. The region is agriculturally rich with traditional methods used to farm the land and maintain livestock. It is one of the most culturally diverse regions of Georgia, which is home to many small villages of not only Georgian ancestry and traditions but also Greek, Russian, Armenian and Doukhobor ancestry and traditions. We are working with the Georgian EcoTourism Association to empower children and young adults in the different villages along the course through sports and education. We look forward to welcoming some of the young adults to join us on different sections of RacingThePlanet: Georgia 2021.
Namibia - this donation will be split between two charities.
The Desert Lion Conservation is founded by Dr Philip Stander, who has dedicated his life to protecting the desert lions in Namibia. Those of you who have had the opportunity to join the Namib Race will be familiar with Dr Philip and the work that he does. He has most recently had vehicle problems, and his vehicle is an integral part of the research and conservation that he does. You can listen to Dr Philip explain how important the tourism industry is to the conservation plight, and how current affairs have impacted Namibia. Read more details here.
The DRC School project via the Ultimate Power of 1
The DRC School Project and Community Centre supports Namibians who have moved from the North to the coastal town of Swakopmund, and provides a place with electricity, running water and educational opportunities. The goals of the DRC (Democratic Resettlement Community) School Project are to provide:
- the continuous supply of teaching and school materials
- the payment of teachers’ salaries
- taking over the costs of fruit and vegetables
- the regular renovation of the school containers and the maintenance of the playground
The DRC School project has been introduced to us and supported by the Ultimate Power of 1, which is founded by RacingThePlanet Alumna Anim Swart. She has been raising money through Zoom work out classes with Michael Williams and Nat Steele.
Chile - The communities of San Pedro de Atacama depend almost entirely on tourism with a small amount of farming. Since March the town has been closed to try to protect the people from COVID-19 but this has also meant that there has been no tourism and therefore no income - and the schools have been closed and the small medical facility struggling to cope.
As the world, including San Pedro, is preparing itself or is in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 - the small medical clinic in San Pedro De Atacama (Posta Médica) will need basic supplies in order to keep the communities as safe as possible. We will contribute funds to provide COVID related equipment needed for the clinic.
Antarctica - The final charity we will be supporting is the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. The trust works to conserve and educate about the history of Port Lockroy, Antarctica. For more than a century Port Lockroy has been a home for explorers, whalers, scientists, and sailors who have made vital contributions to Antarctic history and the harbour has become the most popular visitor destination in Antarctica today.
Port Lockroy is a sheltered harbour off the coast of Wiencke Island at the meeting point of three seaways which offer some of the most dramatic mountain and glacier scenery on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
We will make a donation to the conservation team stationed there who carry out important survey and sampling work which will allow for care and conservation of this unique piece of Antarctic heritage. We will visit Port Lockroy at The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2021 and be able to see first hand the conservation work that goes on thanks to our donations.