In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jocelyne's Summer 2013

I don't usually post my travel plans, but it's different this time. Travels in the past (during December holidays) were family holidays. And during my gap year, I worked to fund (most of) them.

Now though, because fundraising seems to be the favourite past-time of the Brits, when I signed up for a Mt Kilimanjaro climb and an Operation Wallacea biodiversity conservation research expedition, we are to raise funds for our trips. Hence, I would greatly appreciate any little donation to either of my Summer projects.

[Update 26 Jan: If you'd like to donate but do not wish to do so via the fundraising pages (they charge some fees), feel free to text/message/email me (jocelyne[dot]sze[at]gmail[dot]com) and I will provide you with my (Singapore or UK) bank account. Thanks :)]

Support my charity climb!

I'll be doing a charity climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, which is the highest peak in Africa. It's done with Student Adventures, and the money raised will go to Practical Action.

Why am I doing this?
I really want to climb Mt Kili one day. I enjoy outdoor activities, and have climbed Mt Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia in 2009, as well as attempted to scale Island Peak in Khumbu, Nepal in 2011. I love being outdoors. Though I think mountaineering is an innately selfish sport, the adventure seeker in me is hard to repress. Climbing for charity makes mountaineering results in some good at least!
At the summit of Mt Kinabalu with my brother Jeremy in June 2009
As close as I got to the summit of Island Peak in Oct 2011

Doing this charity climb will help raise awareness about Practical Action & raise funds for them to do their work (as they wouldn't be able to raise that much money otherwise)

What is Practical Action about?
Practical Action is a charity that introduces technology to developing countries to help bring people out of poverty. They work on energy, food and agriculture, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, markets, technology, infrastructure and urban poverty issues, amongst others.

Practical Action works alongside communities to find practical solutions to the poverty they face. We see technology as a vital contributor to people's livelihoods. Our definition of technology includes physical infrastructure, machinery and equipment, knowledge and skills and the capacity to organise and use all of these.
We actively seek to work with communities and adopt a collaborative approach, sharing knowledge and experience. We increase our impact by scaling success pushing for policy change that directly benefits poor communities.
Practical Action's vision and mission
Vision – Technology justice: a sustainable world free of poverty and injustice in which technlogy is used for the benefit of all
Mission – To contribute to poor people's wellbeing, using technology to challenge poverty by: 
  • building the capabilities of poor men and women,
  • improving their access to technical options and knowledge, and
  • working with them to influence social, economic institutional systems for innovation and the use of technology. 
Why should you donate?
Well if you're thinking of getting me something, I'd much prefer a donation to this cause instead. If you're not, donating to a charity is always good! 

Just to make it clear, although I'm supposed to raise £2650, £1275 is my trip cost and £1375 goes to Practical Action. I'm only requesting for donations for the £1375 that goes to Practical Action. If you'd like to check Practical Action's accounts, you can do so here. From what I've seen, about 84% of their income (from donations and investments) goes towards their charitable activities. Of course, any additional funds raised that go towards reducing my personal cost will be very much appreciated!

Support my biodiversity research conservation field course!

I'll be going on an expedition with Operation Wallacea to South Africa as well.

Why am I doing this?
I want to be go into the field of conservation for a career, and every field experience I have will be useful and will equip me with necessary skills.
I've had limited experience in bush ecology, and I will be there as a research assistant for ongoing conservation projects in South Africa. I'll also be furthering my understanding of wildlife resource management and major conservation issues faced in the region.
Me in the Bintang-Hijau Forest Reserve in Gerik, Malaysia while volunteering with Rimba

What is Operation Wallacea about?
Operation Wallacea is an organisation that conducts expeditions to various biodiversity hotspots around the world to do baseline biodiversity surveys and other stuffs. It is funded by grants as well as students who join on their expeditions to gain field survey technique and ecology principles, or dissertation topics. work with local organisations to ensure that work done is translated into real life action.

Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research programmes. Research is supported by students who join the programme, to strengthen their CV or resume, gain course credit, or collect data for a dissertation or thesis. Academics benefit from funding for high quality fieldwork enabling them to publish papers in peer reviewed journals. This model enables the collection of large temporal and spatial datasets used for assessing the effectiveness of conservation management interventions.
Operation Wallacea is an organisation funded by tuition fees that runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes that operate in remote locations across the world. These expeditions are designed with specific wildlife conservation aims in mind - from identifying areas needing protection, through to implementing and assessing conservation management programmes. What is different about Operation Wallacea is that large teams of university academics who are specialists in various aspects of biodiversity or social and economic studies are concentrated at the target study sites giving volunteers the opportunity to work on a range of projects.
Why should you donate?
This project would really let me learn a lot about bush ecology hands on, and I'd very much appreciate your support! If you're not any relation of mine, there's no particular reason why your hard earned money should go towards a stranger like me, but if you've got some cash to spare and would like to support someone's dreams :) I'd appreciate it very much :D

I will be raising US$2920/£1822 for this expedition, and every cent/penny will just be going to supporting me on my expedition. Which sounds like a lot for me to ask of you :X 

All that said, this is not a "do or die" operation for me, and I will somehow or other find a way to go on my Summer programmes. Even so, I would really appreciate any help I can get (but if you're tied up at the moment yourself, then don't worry about me), Any amount at all would be appreciated (even S$5!), thank you very much! 谢谢您! Terima Kasih! Merci! ¡gracias! Obrigada! Kapoonkah!

And because I believe in democracy, you have a chance to exercise your right to choose between a proper charity organisation and me, if you'd like to support me, or not at all (:

Have a blessed year ahead and may it be a fulfilling and rewarding year! Life is not all about work and money and materialistic wealth; do spend time with family, friends, your hobbies, being happy, appreciating nature and our heritage and all things intangible (:

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