Travels to My Elephant – update

Many of you might have heard that Yasmin injured herself during the Travels to My Elephant Race that she participated in with Amber about 2 weeks ago.  In response to what is being said on social media, I wanted to share one of the few truly “official” stories on what happened, in Amber’s own words from an email she sent out recently to those who donated to their fundraiser:

You may have been wondering why we have been so quiet recently, very unfortunately we had an accident Day 1 of the challenge and sadly we had to say goodbye to our very cute little auto-rickshaw. We had some minor scrapes but Mama broke her shoulder and three ribs so we had to travel back to London.
Sitting on the plane thinking about how much fun everyone else was having, feeling a little sorry for ourselves, we realised that we had NO photos of our motorised friend!

The morning had been such a rush to find our rickshaw and get started, that we assumed we’d have later to take pictures. Over the next two to three weeks we will be trying to see if anyone else has any footage of us, and will be trying to pull together any pictures that we can. For the moment, all that we have are some pictures from the journey there and our temple visit in Khajuraho, which was wonderful.

I will leave you with […] our appreciation for your generosity. The charity does amazing things that have a real effect for large animals in India, not just the elephants.
You guys have been so wonderful helping us to support the charity that we love, and giving us the confidence to go out there and try. We didn’t even get a chance to argue at all!

I have not heard from Yasmin personally, but it sounds like she is doing much better and enjoying her recovery.

Amber shared a few photos on her Instagram account.

For anyone who intended to give to their fundraiser but have not yet done so, they are still accepting donations at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=YasminandAmberLeBon&pageUrl=2.  So far, they have raised an amazing £31,214.72 for Elephant Family and Quintessentially Foundation.  All funds donated go towards these organizations, which are dedicated to preserving the dwiindling numbers of Asian elephants to try to save them from otherwise inevitable extinction.

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Yasmin and Amber raising funds for Quintessentially Foundation and Elephant Family

In advance of their 5 day rickshaw race in early November through Madhya Pradesh in India as part of Travels to My Elephant, an effort inspired by the work of the late Mark Shand to help call attention to the plight of endangered Asian elephants and support their conservation, Yasmin and Amber have established a Virgin Money Giving page to raise money for Quintessentially Foundation and Elephant Family.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: (L-R) Yasmin Le Bon, Amber Le Bon and Joanna Lumley pose at the launch of 'Travels to my Elephant' Rickshaw Race at Clarence House on March 26, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
From this March: Yasmin and Amber with actress Joanna Lumley pose alongside one of the rickshaws that will be raced as a part of Travels To My Elephant

Amber, who set up the page, writes that funds raised will go to helping save endangered Asian elephants, a cause close to both of their hearts. She adds that those who donate will be added to an email list to receive fun pictures and videos of them from the roads of India.

Elephant Family, the organization founded by conservationist Mark Shand, is dedicated to saving the Asian elephant, whose numbers have plummeted by more than 90% in the past century, from extinction.  Quintessentially Foundation aims to improve the education, health, and welfare of disadvantaged people worldwide.  Your donation will help support both of these important causes.

So far, £267.50 has been raised with a goal of £10,000.  Donations will be accepted through November 1st.

Visit Yasmin and Amber’s Virgin Money Giving page to donate.

Travels To My Elephant

This November, Yasmin and her daughter Amber will be taking part in Travels To My Elephant, an 8-day race of 30 rickshaws across Madhya Pradesh in India to help protect the Asian elephant from extinction.

Yasmin and Amber stand before one of the rickshaws with actress Joanna Lumley

There are currently less than 35,000 Asian elephants in the wild, a decrease in population of 90% over the past century, with the loss of forests and the illegal ivory trade further dwindling their numbers.

The charity event, which aims to raise a total of 1 million pounds, is being organized in memory of Mark Shand, the late founder of Elephant Family and a friend of Yasmin’s.  It was announced in a reception hosted at Clarence House by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, who was Shand’s sister.

Yasmin told the Daily Mail: “Mark was a dear friend whose work was so important. It would be a crime not to carry it on. I’m very into my cars but racing a rickshaw is going to be something else. I am going to be the driver and Amber will be the navigator. We get on brilliantly but I think being cooped up in a rickshaw for eight days together it going to be explosive. Luckily the engine is loud so I won’t be able to hear her – although I might be tempted to take some gaffer tape too. I really want people to support us in any way they can. It is the mad sort of challenge Mark would thoroughly have approved of and it’s wonderful for the prince and duchess to lend their support.”

This is not her first attempt to help raise money for Elephant Family, as she supported the charity as one of many celebrity pledge drivers to participate in last year’s BCG Annual Global Charity Day.

Also participating in the race will be actress Susan Sarandon and Quintessentially Foundation principal Ben Elliot.

Find out more about Travels To My Elephant and Elephant Family by clicking on these links.