I’m sure i will see many amazing things on my little walk, oceans, snow-capped mountains, animals, insects, reptiles, giant trees, pristine jungle, colourful tropical birds, electric thunderstorms, Várzea – flooded forest meandering rivers white water rapids, deep canyons, sunrise and sunsets, people, villages, cities, and probably a few things i won’t be amazed to see.
This image of my retina was taken recently, before i had undergone surgery to improve my distance vision, it made me think about how we all take for granted our eyesight, and how fragile important and amazing human eyesight really is.
You’ve only got to look at the astounding & complex mechanism of the human eye to appreciate the marvellous gift of vision we all have.
Even Charles Darwin described the eye as one of the greatest challenges to his theory. “To suppose,” he admitted, “that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances … could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree” (On the Origin of species)
Many poor people around the world simply don’t have the opportunity to have treatment for impaired vision or avoidable blindness or even afford to buy glasses.
I cannot imagine how difficult going through life with severely impaired vision or complete loss of vision would be, especially if the problem could be resolved or improved with modern eye surgery procedures.
Seeing is Beliving
There are a quite a few charities doing wonderful work for the visually impaired. One of the charities i decided to support is Seeing is Believing, as they also do their good work in Peru.
Standard Charted bank also match any donation made to the charity, which i thought was pretty cool.
You can visit their website and donate to Seeing is Believing via my Charity page here.
I also wanted to give something back to the countries I will be trekking through. After a lot of searching I found a few very worthy UK-based charities that I really want to help, Task Brazil And Amantani.
I believe that building a foundation for a house is similar to building a foundation for a life; the stronger it’s made and the more care is put into creating the foundation, the stronger and more secure that house or that person’s life will be. With a good foundation, it’s possible to stand strong and confident, perhaps also having a positive inspiring knock on effect on others in their communities and for future generations.
I found out about the charity Task Brazil a few years back and was very impressed with their incredible work in helping rescue some of the most impoverished and abandoned young people from the streets and favela’s of Rio de Janeiro helping them with their education and ultimately their future lives
Task Brasil started running residential care for street children and young people in 1998 after receiving a very generous donation from Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin rock icon, (of Stairway to heaven fame) who witnessed first hand the deprivation of the children and troubles in the favela”s whilst playing in Rio de Janeiro. The money donated was used towards buying a house on a plot of land in Santa Teresa, a district of Rio de Janeiro. ‘Casa Jimmy’ has provided a safe and happy home for 500 young children and pregnant teenage girls who were either living on the streets or leading lives of great deprivation and vulnerability.
You can visit their website and donate to Task Brazil on my charity page here.
Peru is a stunningly diverse and beautiful part of this world, from the snow-capped mountains, deep canyons and valleys of the Andes to the Amazon rainforest, but there is still extreme poverty in many areas.
Amantani’s mission is to help the indigenous children of Peru keep their smiles. They help children from marginalised Quechua families to access education, stimulating social development for Peru’s most disadvantaged communities.
Since 2008, they have been working to bridge the gap between home and school for children living in Ccorca; a Quechua district nestled high in the Andes of Southern Peru. Access to education in rural areas of Peru is notoriously problematic and Ccorca is no exception. Children from as young as 7 have to walk for up to 8 hours each day to get to and from school. Inevitably, they arrive too tired to concentrate and many give up on their education altogether.
“Our Educational Boarding Houses give the most disadvantaged children in Ccorca a place to stay near to school. Instead of walking home for up to 4 hours each morning and afternoon, this time is spent on academic support classes, extra-curricular activities, personal development workshops and community outreach projects. Our intercultural philosophy promotes social inclusion, helping children gain skills to negotiate Peru’s modern society, whilst encouraging indigenous autonomy and cultural pride”.
“This approach has been recognised worldwide. As well as being named the Latin American Human Rights Organisation of the Year (2013), we were asked to present Amantani at TEDx Oxford (2015) and the International Social Enterprise Forum organised by the World Bank and the British Council (2014)”.
You can visit their website and donate to Amantani on my charity page here.