Our western calendar is full of unofficial observances, celebrating anything from ‘Ice Cream For Breakfast Day’ in January, to ‘Monkey Day’ in December. There are some serious ones, and some downright ridiculous. However, today’s blog is all about one of the more uplifting occasions: World Kindness Day!
This November (13th), World Kindness Day will be upon us once again. Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, this is a day designed to highlight our individual acts of kindness, encouraging us to improve our social effectiveness and awareness of those in need around us. Throughout the years, there have been suggestions shared as to how we can help make a difference to the world, given with no political or religious affiliation, but through togetherness and a coalition of nations. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world campaign for a variety of movements, and breathe positivity and proactiveness into otherwise very dark and hopeless situations for people and animals alike. You can find out all about the influencers and campaigners behind this awesome day by visiting The World Kindness Movement.
To us here at The Great Projects, kindness isn’t just about being kind to our fellow peers. To us, it means conservation. It means dedication; commitment to the cause. It means protecting and improving the lives of those with whom we share the planet, including the animals that have suffered at the hands of cruelty to the point where they are on the verge of extinction. It is easy to turn away and ignore the myriad of issues this world’s inhabitants are experiencing, but it takes a strong and passionate individual to take a stand and make their presence felt, especially within conservation, rehabilitation, charity, and education. This is something that we, and our volunteers, know all too well.
Kindness is about making the impossible, possible; turning a plight and no chance, into a fighting chance. From helping marine life escape the dangers of plastic waste, to supporting rhinos in Africa avoid the savagery of poaching, our amazing volunteers have helped to provide a safer, friendlier, more compassionate - more kind - way of life for endangered animals around the world. These volunteers have given stability and support to local communities of people, too. Some have spent time with local school children and tribes, interacting with them, teaching them basic English and being part of the educational movement to help locals maintain their communities and local wildlife.
“Kindness knows no bounds, even within a world of constant change and adjustment.”
Our volunteers are the bread and butter of our existence at The Great Projects. They are the reason we are motivated every day to make our projects work. Through their kindness, they have changed lives, but have also been intrinsically rewarded with their hard work, as you can read in the example below.
One of our incredible volunteers, Alexa, took part on The Victoria Falls project and described the experience as “life-changing, rewarding, and memorable!” Alexa spent her time in Zimbabwe absorbing the local culture and meeting inspirational people.
Upon her return from the Falls, Alexa spoke of the importance of getting to know local cultural and social aspects of the area, and was so impressed by just how happy the people living here were with their way of life:
Alexa went on to tell us she plans on returning in 2018, for a second stint! Thank you, Alexa.
If you decide to follow in Alexa’s footsteps, you will come face-to-face with some of Africa’s most amazing animals, such as the elephant, rhino, and hornbill. You’ll also get the opportunity to visit Masuwe School, helping to build a better future for the budding students there - an amazing way to give something back this World Kindness Day, especially because they are so eager to learn English!
If you are interested in going to Victoria Falls, check out the project page here!
Inge volunteered for The Great Orangutan Project and is super determined to take part in more projects in the near future. She described how rewarding it was being in contact with the orangutans in their natural habitat:
Inge travelled halfway across the world to help her favourite animal, and her dedication and commitment to the project is to be admired. Like on all of our projects, she took the opportunity to make a difference to the global wildlife conservation effort and is now seeking further opportunities to help.
The Great Orangutan Project is located in the stunning setting of Malaysian Borneo. This award-winning project allows you to encounter orangutans, sun bears and other animals. As part of these volunteering efforts, you will help by creating enrichment in the area, providing the animals with stimulating environments. As the centre continues to develop, you may be required to take part in new construction projects, too!
If you love orangutans like Inge does, check out The Great Orangutan Project now!
After visiting our Costa Rica Turtles Conservation Project, Laura highlighted the importance of community and her joy at meeting likeminded people.
When you work together within a team, in this instance to aid the hatching and first journey of new-born turtles (hatchlings), a positive energy is established, and each individual knows the importance of their role. In a group like this, where Laura is one of several volunteers protecting an endangered species as they make their first steps into a dangerous world, kindness and unity prevail and offer a better chance of survival to the animals they’re working so hard to aid. In the case of Laura’s group, camaraderie and kindness are key to making this project work!
If you want to help give those baby turtles the best start to their new lives, check out our Costa Rica Turtle Conservation Project!
Our volunteers have been part of the change, not just to specific parts of the world or their fauna, but also to the general attitude and exposure of the protection of wildlife. We proudly offer you the opportunity to follow in their footsteps, to continue to movement. Alexa, Inge, and Laura are role models that have made a real difference. There are thousands of generous others that have shown similar selflessness, and you could soon join their ranks. This World Kindness Day, make a difference: volunteer with us, and perform the ultimate act of kindness for the animals that need it most.
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Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.
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