Saturday, July 30, 2011

Malaysia donation: Orangutan Foundation International

After reading books about orangutans, and then seeing them in the (semi) wild in Borneo, we were inspired to make our donation this month to an organization that helps orangutans and their habitat.

This was a cause The Whirl Girl could easily understand, especially since she saw how the "uncles" gave food to the orangutans at the Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre that we visited near Kuching, Malaysia.

The organization that we selected is Orangutan Foundation International. It was founded by Birute Galdikas, a primatologist who moved to Borneo 40 years ago to study orangutans and has been there ever since. For my grown-up book this month, I read her memoir and found her work incredibly inspiring. Just as with our Kenya donation, I liked the idea of giving to an impressive woman that I had just learned a good deal about. Though - full disclosure - her work (and the book) is on the Indonesian side of Borneo, not the Malaysian side. But orangutans don't know the meaning of the national borders on their Bornean home, right?

As a bonus, Orangutan Foundation International offers the opportunity to "foster an orangutan." Basically, with your donation, you can choose an orangutan to support and then are given bio information and a certificate as a thanks. I thought this was a good way to make the idea of a donation more accessible to The Whirl Girl.

So she made a card to send to OFI, or as she said, "the people who take care of orangutans." I printed out a coloring page of orangutans for her to color, as her baby stuffed orangutan looked on (at her insistence).

Then, she "wrote" a note on the inside (and I deciphered it into English script on the opposite side).

And we packaged it up and sent it in the mail to OFI. Looking forward to getting something back about Omry, the baby orangutan that she picked from the website because he was described as the silly one.

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