Trust can Change the World

trust

/trəst/

noun

A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

When we set off to start Never Forget Elephant Foundation earlier this year, we entered into the journey with respect and compassion at the forefront of what we do.  We wholeheartedly believe that when we connect with each other the most profound results are experienced when we do so without judgment. It’s a tall order, no doubt, but we set our sights high as we show up to do our best to improve the lives of these precious elephants we all love so much.

As we have navigated through the complexities of running a nonprofit foundation in a foreign country, with cultural differences and language barriers, we have moved through these last months with awareness of our presence and actions.  We have spent countless hours with the local community in their homes, have taken time to understand what makes them tick, what their hopes are and have sat with their children as they have inspired us to be the best versions of ourselves.  Through all of these hours, smiles and connections with the community, our hope has been that we can connect with our fellow human beings in a meaningful way that not only betters us as human beings, but also positively impacts the lives of endangered Asian elephants.

And through our goal of compassionately showing up not only for ourselves, but also for the local community, in a way that best fosters an environment of respect and connection, we have arrived at a natural outcome of trust. Trust is one of the few emotions that is earned, not readily given on a whim. Trust takes time and patience. Without mutual trust, a foundation of a relationship does not exist. Simply put, trust is the backbone in being present for others in a way without judgment where they feel most supported.

Mo Pau Na and Freedom in the jungle.

Mo Pau Na and Freedom in the jungle.

The collective trust that we have with the community recently reached a significant turning point when one of the village elders came to us and asked if we could help with his elephant who recently gave birth.  Mo Pau Na, or as translated to “Lady born with the cut in her ear,” gave birth to a baby boy, Freedom, three weeks prior to us being approached. This was her second birth, but under a much different set of circumstances this time.  She would now be able to raise Freedom under the canopy of the jungle, just as nature intends.

The rescue of Mo Pau Na and her baby signifies the trust that we have built with the local community.  As we are transparent in our belief that purchasing elephants further drives the demand for elephants in the tourism industry, trust with the community must be a place where we invest significant effort.  The alignment of ethics with the local community is clearly apparent, with Mo Pau Na and Freedom now in our program as we look to the future with our hopes in helping more elephants. Our aspirations result in a win-win-win scenario: the elephants in our care benefit with being home in their natural habitat, the local community feels supported in their cultural beliefs with having elephants involved in their lives in such a significant way and we as human beings are able to come together in facilitating impactful and broader environmental change through consistent and dependable presence.

Thank you for your support of our program and for believing in our collective efforts as we do our best in coming together in making positive change for endangered Asian elephants in Thailand.

For the Elephants,

Ava

AVA LALANCETTE