The Fiona Orangutan Project

After learning of the devastation occurring in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia through their studies of endangered animals, Ascham students and KidsGive Ambassadors, Amelie Widin-Williams and Giselle Parras, along with their passionate fellow-student collaborators, felt compelled to do their part to make things right. KidsGive is a crowdfunding site designed for young people who enlist the guidance of their parents, teachers and communities to help them make a difference, and allows students to securely raise funds for causes they are passionate about.

Palm oil production piqued the interest of our girls, who discovered that whether sustainable or not, palm oil production is continuing to have catastrophic effects on the environment, by way of deforestation and therefore habitat loss. After much consideration, the girls identified The Orangutan Project (TOP) as a charity that both aligned with their beliefs and would benefit greatly from their support. TOP’s key mission is to ensure that endangered wild orangutan species will continue to live in secure populations for generations to come.

The girls were inspired by the sentiments of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax and now want to ‘speak for the trees’. They encouraged Ascham’s Junior School (Fiona) students to join them in their campaign to raise $2,000+ for TOP through a variety of fundraising activities at school and their online campaign.

To set the wheels in motion, the girls composed and submitted a proposal, and successfully gained the support of staff. They then scripted and recorded a campaign video to rally online support and contacted TOP to advise them of their campaign goals. Ms Louise Dean from The Orangutan Project was so impressed by their initiative that she offered to come and speak to Fiona students and staff about the project’s mission. She visited Ascham on 3 August and informed the girls of the devastating effects of palm oil production. She also highlighted areas in which we could help, inspiring the girls to give generously in support of The Fiona Orangutan Project.

In Terms 3 and 4 2016, Fiona girls had several opportunities to give both in person and online. At school, there were a variety of fundraising activities, commencing with a competition to name the orangutan mascot (generously gifted to Fiona by The Orangutan Project as a token of thanks). Among other activities, there were also a mufti day, cake stalls and a monkey bar swinging competition.

You can donate to our Ascham School Fiona Orangutan Project via KidsGive here. More information on The Orangutan Project can be found at

Our Junior School students have adopted The Orangutan Project after learning of the devastation wreaked by palm oil production.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr Seuss, The Lorax

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