A&K Philanthropy & Responsible Tourism
Discover A Legacy of Philanthropy
In honor of A&K's 50th Anniversary, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy has published A Legacy of Philanthropy, a book commemorating the valuable grassroots conservation, education, community development and public health programs it supports around the world.
Download the 'Discover A Legacy of Philanthropy' book
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The goal of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) is to provide long-term support for existing natural ecosystems to ensure that human populations, flora and fauna continue to survive and coexist successfully.
A&K and AKP have pioneered a new form of community development assistance by forging informal partnerships with grassroots initiatives and compassionate travellers.
"A decade ago, Abercrombie & Kent introduced wood-saving stoves to the Masai. Total rejection," says A&K co-owner Jorie Butler Kent. "Only when the Masai learned that the stoves would conserve resources and reduce wood collection by 70% did they become interested. Moral: Education is the key to alleviating poverty."
AKP traces its beginnings back to 1982 when funds were first raised for conservation efforts within the Masai Mara National Reserve. Today, AKP carries on our commitments on a global scale, sponsoring projects that address pressing environmental, educational and public health needs in all the regions we operate.
• Reduce the impact of climate change
• Take a proactive role in protecting endangered species
• Educate local people to protect the environment for their benefit and future generations
• Help travellers understand fragile ecosystems so they continue to thrive
AKP has once again been recognized in the World Savers Awards, earning top honours in the 2011 Doing It All category for our contribution to Poverty Relief, Environmental and Cultural Preservation, Education Programs, Wildlife Conservation and Health Initiatives.
Travel & Leisure has awarded A&K the prestigious 2010 Global Vision Award for its pioneering work in harnessing the power of travel to protect the environment, preserve cultures and transform communities.
AKP in Australia & New Zealand
Australia Lizard Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's leading facilities for coral reef research and the study of the potential harmful impacts of global warming.
New Zealand Kiwi Encounter is helping to increase the numbers of this beloved and endangered icon of New Zealand.
Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy Background
A deep-rooted concern for the natural world infuses each and every Abercrombie & Kent journey. Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) facilitates this commitment to socially and ecologically responsible travel worldwide and helping travellers become actively involved in these efforts.
Flying over Kenya's renowned Masai Mara in 1982, A&K Vice Chairman Jorie Butler Kent noticed crisscrossing jeep tracks on the plains and knew that elephant and rhino populations were rapidly diminishing due to seemingly unstoppable poachers. Shortly thereafter she established the organization that is now known as Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, to formalize A&K's ongoing efforts in conservation and to help raise funds to aid local efforts to restore and preserve the biodiversity and ecology of the Masai Mara.
As president of AKP, Jorie continues to direct the philanthropic programs worldwide for which A&K is renown. "As part of our commitment to a destination," explains Jorie, "we not only invest in staff and equipment, but also provide ongoing support for environmental and cultural conservation programs, health care and education." Working through A&K's global offices, AKP supports grassroots projects around the world, efforts spearheaded by dedicated local experts in conservation, education, community development and public health.
Together A&K and AKP pioneered a 21st century approach to philanthropy that has become a new form of community development assistance worldwide, forging informal partnerships with local grassroots initiatives and compassionate travellers who want to give something back to the places they visit. AKP projects dig wells to provide communities clean, bacteria-free water, teach and shelter impoverished children, restore and preserve ecosystems and strive to reverse the effects of global climate change.
In Cambodia, where water-borne illnesses account for half to two-thirds of fatalities, support from AKP and compassionate travellers has built more than 700 wells, bringing life-saving clean water to over 11,000 people.
When Cyclone Nargis raged across the gentle country of Myanmar in 2008, more than $540,000 was raised to help the people in the Irrawaddy Delta region whose lives were devastated by the storm. Emergency aid was on the way to the Delta before the first planes bringing international aid had landed. Funds were used not only to purchase essential supplies to help people survive in the days immediately following the storm, but also to help restore fields for planting to stem the very real prospect of starvation and to provide help and homes for children orphaned by the storm.
In 2000, AKP and A&K Jordan joined early efforts to preserve the Arabian Oryx. A little over a decade later, in 2011, the IUCN pronounced the Arabian Oryx a conservation success story, the first time a species once 'Extinct in the Wild' has improved by three categories to 'Vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In southwest Uganda, Bwindi Community Hospital began in 2003 as a weekly clinic under a tree to provide health care to some of the poorest people in the world, including the Batwa Pygmies, displaced when the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was designated as a reserve in 1993 to protect one of the world's last self-sustaining populations of mountain gorilla. Sustainable tourism has made a critical difference in protecting gorillas in Uganda by providing a compelling economic incentive to protect them.
For people living in and around the last forested areas for gorilla conservation who are struggling to survive, in addition to forestry protection conservation efforts must also involve community-centered projects: education, water and sanitation, women's initiatives and health care.
As recently as 2006, there was no testing for HIV/AIDS, no education and no treatment available in the region. More than 40% of the children died before the age of 5 from malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis and AIDS.
Thanks to support from AKP and our guests, today staff from Bwindi Community Hospital test for HIV from the back of a four-wheel-drive "community ambulance." Within ten minutes this portable blood-testing device counts CD4-positive T cells and allows doctors to monitor the health of a patient and provide anti-retroviral treatment. The result is that HIV has been changed from being a death sentence to being something that people can live with while leading productive lives.
Since the hospital was established in 2003, our guests have contributed more than $1 million to dramatically expand the hospital and its services, including: a new 28-bed Children's Ward and neonatal unit; infrastructure needed for 24-hour power, water and drainage; a maternity ward where 130 deliveries are performed each month; and a community health program covering 60,000 people in the area. What began as an outreach clinic under a tree has grown into a 112-bed hospital providing health care and health education services to a population of over 100,000 people.
Jorie notes, "As travel increasingly becomes about the things money can't buy - shared experiences and treasured memories - more and more of our guests want to make a personal connection and a positive contribution to the places they visit."
100% of all contributions to AKP are sent directly to the projects our donors designate. AKP is a 501(c)(3) US non-profit organization and a registered charity in the UK. Donations by US residents are fully tax deductible as provided by law, and UK residents are able to increase their donation by designating AKP as a recipient of their Gift Aid (Registered UK Charity No: 1146592).
Today AKP supports more than 40 projects on all seven continents that focus on the four pillars of AKP: Conservation, Education, Health and Community.
Professional Travel Advisors, World's Best 2012
Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) was voted “World’s Best Luxury Tour Operator” and “Best Africa Tour Operator” for the ninth consecutive year by travel agents at the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.