Trent Matthews

Making a change

I was catching up with a friend in Sydney yesterday and the topic of “how to make this world a better place” arose. He mentioned that he read the other day that 1 cruise ship emits as many air pollutants as five millions cars going the same distance. 5 million cars! (Click here for an article on this topic by The Guardian). After sharing some views about how terrible all of this is he finished with “Sadly this conversation wont do anything to change the world”.

As many other left voters I feel strongly about equal rights and keeping this planet as healthy as possible. But just as many other left voter I’m doing absolutely nothing to make an actual difference. I don’t give money to begging children, because they say you shouldn’t motivate them to rely on tourists and it will motivate their parents to keep their kids out of school. I’ve never done any actual volunteering, because I’ve heard a lot of negative experiences about expecting to give something back to the world, but it ending up in giving English class twice a week to a class of 50 kids and become their very temporary babysitter – where’s the fun in that?! I don’t give a monthly contribution to any charity and even though I cycle almost everywhere, I have been on so many flights to take away any compensation of not driving a car.

So in spite of my sad feelings for all the unfortunate and future generations I haven’t done anything that actually contributes to making this world a better place. Yet. But I will… Just don’t ask me how and when just yet.

In the mean time I would like to share some stories of people that I have met on my travels. The ones that turned their love for life into action and are standing up and making an actual difference. They have given me the awareness that small things have an impact.

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Reduce your contribution to climate change
Check out this infograph (I LOVE infographs!) that I found on the little things that we can do in our day to day lives to do our part.

Trent Matthews
Trent and I met during a trek through the amazing Himalayas, during which we’ve shared some lifetime highlights and also a particularly long day of climbing to 5500 meters, reaching the top – thinking we had done the toughest part of the day, to find out we still had hours to climb down through icey, slippery snow before reaching our shelter for the night.

This was in April 2015. A week after I had left the country Trent was there and experienced the earthquake that killed nearly 9000 people and destroyed a lot of homes and historic sights. In the weeks before we met, he had already been volunteering for the Palanchowk Bhagavai Women’s School just outside of Kathmandu, which now got destroyed.

Feeling strongly about womens education and especially this school, he decided on a fund raising project to finance the rebuilding of this school. He is walking across Europe from The Netherlands to Turkey, not allowed to use any transportation or pay for accomodation, so that 100% of all funds goes to the project. He has already raised over 10.000,- dollars!

He’s not there yet, the school will need $ 20.000,- more to get those girls their education. Ofcourse I will ask you to donate a few dollars to his project – help him make that difference. Click here to check out his project “This World Exists” 
But I also want to simply share how admirable I think he is and how grateful I am to share this planet with gamechangers like himself.


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Photo taken at the Chocolate Company at Amsterdam central station – which you should check out if you’re around!

Flyer for This World Exists
The tiny tiny thing that I’ve done to help is made him this flyer for his event in Amsterdam, right before his walk.

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