TGL Thailand 2017
The Giving Lens has been to Thailand twice before, but this trip we are partnering with a new NGO for a hard to beat experience of Northern Thailand! When not volunteering we will explore the beautiful and upbeat city of Chiang Mai, take in some of the surrounding rural areas, and top it off with a visit to our good friends at Elephant Nature Park - the most renowned (and most trusted) elephant (and dog!) rescue camp in Thailand.
We'll be partnering up with Daughters Rising. DR works with girls at-risk of sex-trafficking and poverty from the surrounding area (often from hill tribes / Myanmar refugee families) by offering support and sponsorships to further education, vocational training (such as hotel work, craftwork, and tour guide training), shelter, and therapeutic workshops (art, music, lectures, education, health). We love DR's approach to this issue and will be joining them to teach photography workshops to encourage exploration, self expression, a creative outlet, storytelling, and a sense of uniqueness and originality. We will then have the girls act as guides to help us visit the neighbouring hill tribes (from which some of them come) responsibly and respectfully to both document, and run a mini-workshop with the hill tribe's school!
In conjunction with partnering with Daughters Rising we will be partnering with 2 of their related projects: The Chai Lai Orchid, a responsible, ethical, eco boutique hotel experience run by the founder of DR; and Chai Lai Sisters, the first tour company run by indigenous women in Thailand, which provides job training and micro loans. This is a holistic approach to the issue and ensures much of our funds in country can return to the people who need them!
At the end of our trip we will return to our friends at Elephant Nature Park to learn about the issues, photograph the elephants, and have an incredible day with these gentle giants.
Between our incredible accommodation, the chance to do meaningful workshops with these girls, the opportunity to visit hill tribes that are not touristed, a great day with ENP, exploring Chiang Mai, taking in Thai food and culture ... this trip is one for the books. Read on for more info!
June 22 - 30, 2017
What is Included?
All Ground Transportation
From the moment you arrive to when you depart, we have you covered. Taxis, buses, tours, you name it.
All Accommodation and Meals
Rooms are double rooms with twin beds, paired by gender, and accommodation is always clean, comfortable, and safe. From dinner the arrival day, to breakfast the departure day, we will keep you well fed and hydrated.
All Entry Fees and Guides
Entry fees, shooting permits, guides, passes, etc. If the team is going to shoot there, we'll get you in. We'll even be sure to tip any guides on behalf of the whole team.
All Photo Instruction
You'll have 2 leaders available all day long to field as many questions as you can muster, provide one-on-one help, and offer group topics and instruction as required by the scene at hand.
A Donation to the NGO
While there are a lot of factors involved that determine the exact amount - which we're happy to be completely transparent about - you can rest assured we make a substantial donation to our NGO partner post-trip.
What is Not Included?
We're open to people from every corner of the world. This means we cannot possibly offer a flight that would suit everyone. If you can get yourself here, we'll take care of the rest!
We require every participant to have adequate travel insurance, and to carry copies of this insurance at all times.
Passport and Visa
Each participant is required to ensure their passport is valid for the time of travel, and to research, learn, and meet all the requirements of an entry visa specific to their country. If there are fees associated with the entry visa, they're not included.
Alcohol and Souvenirs
We do not provide alcohol for our participants, so that's up to you. As well, as much as we really really like you, we can't buy your gifts for you. Souvenirs are on you!
Some hotels have wifi, others do not, or sometimes it simply doesn't work. When wifi is available for purchase, it's up to you if it's worthwhile. Some participant opt to purchase a local SIM card and data plan - a great option that we don't cover.
Behind the Scenes of TGL Thailand
The NGO: Daughters Rising
At Daughters Rising, our mission is to empower at-risk girls through education to end trafficking and exploitation in their communities and break the cycle of inter-generational poverty.
As many as 2 million children are forced into prostitution every year and more than half of them live in Asia. Unlike a lot of problems in developing countries, this is one that is actually getting worse. At the peak of the transatlantic slave trade, 80,000 slaves were transported from Africa to the new world. Today, more than 10 times as many women are being forced into brothels or other forms of slavery. Every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim. Women are lured by traffickers with false promises of jobs such as domestic help, models, and other hospitality jobs, and are then forced into slavery. The good news is that our generation can end this horrible human rights violation and everyone has a role.
It’s so important to shut down the perpetrators and save girls, but it’s also important to prevent it from happening to girls at all. We believe that offering incentives for educating a girl will make its less likely for parents to sell their daughter into prostitution. We believe that teaching a girl about confidence, women’s rights and health can empower her against traffickers. We believe that with access to education she can pursue her dreams.
We tackle prevention by providing: access to Education, Vocational Training, Anti-Trafficking Initiatives, Shelters, Therapeutic Activities, Indigenous Craft Preservation and Income Generation, and Community Outreach.
The Giving Lens is so excited to partner with Daughters Rising in Thailand for 2017, and we encourage you to read more on their website right now.
Who Are Your Leaders?
Daniel Nahabedian is a freelance professional photographer, specializing in Travel, Culture and Landscapes (maybe also sunsets). He is a photography instructor, teaching in group and private workshops about basic and intermediate photography, as well as post-processing in Lightroom. He is an Armenian-Lebanese-French guy, raised in the UAE and living in Spain. His goal is to contribute to making the world a more friendly place by sharing his travels, knowledge acquired, and glimpses into cultures and traditions from around the world. He has an award-winning travel blog, Canvas of Light.
Michael Bonocore is our most senior trip leader, with nearly a dozen TGL trips under his belt. He's the Travel Editor at Resource Travel and specializes in travel, street, and landscape photography. He's also a professional videographer. He's worked with tourism boards, camera companies, and travel websites to make visual content from around the world. Hailing from SFO, he's been on the road more than he's been at home for the last 3 years. Michael is an extraordinary teacher and leader - you're in for a treat!