In October 2015 we set off on an awesome expedition to travel over 60,000 miles across 20 countries.
En route we have been facilitating socially engaged film-making, art, photography, meditation, and eco-projects with children and animal conservation; reaching out to underserved communities. We have helped over 1,000 children and 20 communities along the way!
From London to Moscow we took the Trans-Siberian railway to Beijing. In Mongolia we worked with nomad families helping to take care of their goats, horses and kids. We trekked by horseback on the Gobi dessert, slept in Yurt tents in Mongolia and sampled the delights of Russian cuisine! We lost our first Drone ‘George’ in Lake Baikal when he decided to crash land 1,000’s of meters below in the freezing waters!
In China we ran art and photography workshops with children as part of the Children’s International Art Festival. In Vietnam we helped YESD Organisation with their Responsible Tourism projects, empowering disadvantaged youth, and the indigneous Tay people. We also worked with kids at Circle Time with Attention Deficit Disorder, in hospitals and a monastery. In the Phillipines we were sponsored by Scandi Divers Resort to train for our Open Water & Advanced Dive Certificates then invited back to train as Certified PADI Dive Masters: all set to help marine conservation as professional scuba divers! In Puerto Galera we also made an arts project with 80 local primary school children!
We travelled in Bali & Indonesia where we worked with Trash Hero to help keep the world clean and combat plastic pollution. In Raja Ampat, West Papua we helped Barefoot Conservation to monitor manta rays and protect the most diverse and concentrated marine life in the world as well as educating the local kids. We started our international participatory art project Message Me with local kids who are spreading the word about marine conservation to other kids around the world.
We crossed Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand where we have been working with Daughters Rising to help empower women and promote the first business ‘Chai Lai Sisters’ ever run by indigenous Burmese Karen women in Thailand and prevent human trafficking. With Chai Lai Orchid we also helped to promote kindness and better lives for elephants exploited by tourism.
After this we helped kids, the sick, homeless and elderly in Myanmar at the Tha Bar Wa Meditation Centre. In India we worked with Goa Outreach to teach filmmaking to street and slum kids, and with Tat Saraasa Spa & Resort in Udaipur to teach photography & filmmaking to kids in the local underserved community. The word ‘TatSaraasa’ is derived from Sanskrit and means – that which is calm, serene and beautiful. In Jaipur we helped a local charity that empowers girls from the slums to pursue a classical Indian dance career.
In Nepal we helped Nepal Yoga Academy where Hester trained as a Yoga Instructor certified by the USA Yoga Alliance, to promote the yoga love to kids (and adults!) to help make our world a better place. We are also helping to promote a young social enterprise called The Little Buddha Project in Pokhara, Nepal, who are building a community to help the poor, homeless and vulnerable. We climb mountains and volcanoes, traverse jungles and ancient ruins: to feedback content, engage and hopefully inspire others who love to travel, volunteer and give something back to local communities.
After Nepal we spent some more time in the Philippines helping Stairway Foundation to make some promotional videos about the great work they do to prevent child abuse and pedophilia globally and the rehabilitation of street kids.
Right now we are back in the Big Smoke – London Town! We are currently looking for opportunities here to help kids from underserved communities and environmental projects in our homeland so please watch this space!
Our filming is realized with awe-inspiring aerial shots of land and sea-scapes with the help of our third drone who we have named Brian: after a fantastic storyteller we met on our journey!
We are also now ambassadors of Visit.org so are looking forward to volunteering on some amazing projects here in the UK! Visit.org make socially conscious travel easy, fun, and accessible; to enhance the mission of great social organizations around the world.