Since it is other people's money going into this trip as well as my own, I feel it's important for you to know where it wil be spent. Any donations I recieve will go towards things such as:
- The trip itself (here is a webpage on where Frontier says the
money goes to)
- Plane flights so I can actually get there
- Jabs and medication to help protect me from nasty diseases whilst I am helping. I can't go without some of the jabs
- My kit list so I have the bits I need to help
- My visa so I can actually be allowed to go and help out in Indonesia
- Departure tax so I can get out of Indonesia!
Whilst on the trip I was informed that part of volunteer participation fee Frontier got to keep, because they were the agency that directed me to them. I was rather disappointed - for most of the time I had thought that Frontier ran the project rather than being an agency, but it does say that Frontier are a not-for-profit organisation. I hope this means that Frontier's part of the money goes towards something good and worthwhile, but honestly I don't know exactly what Frontier spends that part of the money on.
After I have collected all the money I need for my trip (less than £2000), the rest of the money will go to the the Orangutan Foundation.
Are you paying for anything?
I'll be paying for my passport, because although I need it, I feel it's unfair for you to have to pay for that. I'll also be contributing some items (both essential and non-essential) and money. The items on my kit list that are called "miscellaneous: non-essential" will not be coming out of the fund money, and I will pay for my travel insurance. I've made a web page to show you the kind of things I will be donating in more detail here.
More information on jabs and medication please!
To go on my trip I need vaccinations. You'll be glad to know that most I've managed to either get for free, and/or I have had already.
Some vaccinations on my list are required. One - Rabies - is recommended, but I've been told that I can't do certain activities if I don't have it. I hope you'll feel, like me, that I should help to my full potential. If not having the Rabies jab means that I may not be able to help out as much as I could do, then I personally feel that I need it.
There is also the case of Malaria preventatives. I was told by the travel nurse that it's recommended for me to have Malaria preventatives if I am out of the city, which I most certainly will be! Malaria is potentially deadly. Like with the vaccinations, if I was taken ill, I wouldn't be able to adequately help conserve the orangutans. If I died from a disease there would be that problem and more! I don't mind facing my fears to help the orangutans, but not adequately protecting myself is just foolish.
What is your policy on buying stuff?
Where I can, I like the money used to buy items to also help out other causes - I sometimes buy items from charity so that they do some extra good.
When buying items, I also try to get the best value for money I can without jeopardising the items' usefullness. I searched through several shops to try and get the best rucksack for the money, and bought it during a sale. I try to get discounts when I can. My jungle boots were secondhand, which saved a lot of money compared to buying new ones.
I also feel that although cheap is good, if something is going to fall apart as soon as I start using it when it could have lasted me for another conservation trip, or hinder me doing my current conservation work rather than help, then it's probably not worth it. Living in a rainforest is going to make things muddy and wet amongst other things, but if I can get items at a good enough quality as to improve my helpfullness or use again, then so much the better.
What about plane flights?
I started with a list of airports that were either near me or my family members, and continued from there, scouting around to try and find the best value for money. I even looked into places that were far away but decided after weighing prices and difficulty/ cost actualy getting to the far away airports that nearby would be the best option.
I hope that this has helped you be confident and happy with how the money will be used!