Hello, I'm Ann Michelle, 25, Filipina based in Zurich. I decided to support this cause and take up this challenge, here's the what and the why:
In October 2019, our HER Planet Earth team will embark on a 10-day expedition in Northern Kenya. We will trek across 100 km of Kenya's remote Matthew’s Range, on foot and with a camel train in support.
The expedition might range at altitudes from 3,500ft to 5,000ft and in daily temperatures could fluctuate between 10 to 30 degrees Centigrade. Together, we aim to raise over 100,000 USD to support Conservation International's work in environmental conservation and empowerment of women.
As part of its mission Conservation International supports a range of projects with gender related outcomes. The fundraising will support:
- RETETI ELEPHANT SANCTUARY : Reteti is the first community owned and run elephant sanctuary in Kenya where many of the elephant keepers are women.
- THE EXPANSION OF ECO-TOURISM FACILITIES : Facilitating the construction of lodges and an increase in traveller capacity to the region has led to the creation of many jobs and trading opportunities, many of them filled by local women.
- PEACE & SECURITY: The establishment and support of a mobile anti-poaching team for this region has brought security to rural communities. Women have traditionally been exposed to threats from poachers, cattle rustlers and raids from neighbouring ethnic groups while out fetching water and firewood and these teams not only protect them but provide stability in the region by maintaining peace amongst neighbouring communities
Why I joined...
I have been working as a specialist in communications for a company that creates flavours and fragrances that delight everyone, every day. This opened my eyes to the world of sensory: To see, to taste, to smell, to touch and to hear. I have learned to cherish these moments even more.
Growing up in the beautiful islands of the Philippines and since living in the small alpine nation of Switzerland, I have seen that despite the differences in culture in both nations, women are able to disrupt their lives and make a positive difference to help solve many challenges that our world is facing. One of the most threatening is climate change.
And as we are more connected than ever before, it’s easier to see, feel and hear the rampant inequality across societies.
In many countries, women are among the most vulnerable to climate change and environmental impacts, partly because women make up the larger share of the agricultural workforce and tend to have access to fewer income-earning jobs.
Kenya, is one of these countries where girls and women are still restricted to contribute to their society because of traditional ideas about the roles they should play. This holds them back in having representation in decision-making positions.
This is why I joined this expedition with HER Planet Earth and Conservation International in Africa, to raise awareness on climate change and how it effects all of us, especially women.