8-year-old Chiang Mai local, Amelia Monk, is doing something most people won’t do in their entire lifetimes: trekking to the base of Mount Everest. Not only is she taking on such an impressive feat at such a young age, but she is also raising money for Chiang Mai’s Hand To Paw dog rescue in the process. A self-described adventurer, Amelia has skied in Japan, spotted orangutans in the jungles of Borneo, and ran in a Spartan Race in Pattaya, to name only a few of her travels.
Amelia is also an avid animal lover and was saddened the prevalence of street dogs in Chiang Mai, particularly at temples. She wondered, who helps these dogs? Her parents told her about Hand To Paw, a Chiang Mai- based volunteer organization that provides basic health care services to temple dogs. Hand To Paw relies completely on donations and volunteers to vaccinate, treat injuries, feed and provide emergency 24-hour support to dogs living at temples.
Amelia wanted to combine her caring spirit and passion for exploration to help street dogs in Chiang Mai. As she is only eight, Amelia says, “I don’t have any money yet so I wanted to tell everybody that has money about what they (Hand To Paw) do so they might help them.” She founds inspiration from Thai rock band singer “Toon” Khongmalai, who ran 2,191 km across Thailand to raise money and awareness for underfunded hospitals and her father, Daniel Monk who has also participated in charity adventures. Amelia asked her father if she could join him on his planned trek to Everest Base Camp this March to raise funds for Hand To Paw.
The trek to Everest Base Camp is no easy feat, as it climbs through the highest mountain range in the world. Trekkers are faced with high winds, freezing temperatures, and vertical climbs at high altitudes each day. To most, this sounds like a daunting conquest, but not for Amelia who is taking the journey in stride. Her father, says that throughout the trek she has stopped to give every dog she sees water. Amelia feels guided in her mission by this quote, found on Hand To Paw’s website:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show (to any living creature), let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Amelia and her father are currently in Dingboche, Nepal on their way to Everest Base Camp. They would like to thank the wonderful guides and porters at Alpine Ramble Trek who they have made the trek smooth and comfortable thus far. Amelia would like everyone to know “I am not special, anyone can do this if they believe in themselves.” She is a shining example of determination; the future is bright with people like Amelia in our midst. Keep up the good work, Amelia!
To follow Amelia’s trek and to donate to Hand To Paw, follow this link
To learn more about Hand To Paw’s mission and services, check out their Facebook page