Orangutan Awareness Week (OAW) was first established by OFI in 1996 to honor the establishment of Camp Leakey during the first week of November in 1971. What began as a memorial to honor Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas’ research and orangutan conservation in Tanjung Puting National Park has become a world-wide celebration to spread awareness about the plight of orangutans and their diminishing rainforest habitat and encourage action to save orangutans!
Over the years, OFI supporters have celebrated Orangutan Awareness Week in a number of different ways! School and youth groups have hosted bake sales and penny drives. Other supporters have made donations, boycotted palm oil, fostered Care Center orangutans, and hosted “Born to be Wild” viewing parties. Last year we celebrated OAW with our “Wear Orange” social media campaign, in which participants wore orange (orangutans’ favorite color, of course!) and shared their pictures on Facebook and Twitter. It was great to see everyone showing their love for orangutans! Dr. Galdikas herself joined in on the fun and posted a picture straight from the Care Center in Borneo, too!
OFI has also received countless paintings, drawings, collages, quilts, and more to celebrate orangutans and the rainforest. Whether made by school children or by professional artists, each and every piece of art sent to us by passionate and dedicated supporters has warmed our hearts. We would like to share a few of these beautiful pieces that have inspired us.
Show your love and support of orangutans and their habitat by sharing your best artwork with the #OFIOrangutanArt. You can visit our Flickr page (Link here) and check out all of our photos for inspiration. Get creative, share a drawing of your favorite orangutan, create a “Palm Oil Free” poster, or paint a lush landscape of the rainforest!
However you choose to celebrate Orangutan Awareness Week – alone or with friends, with art or with a message, by teaching others or by learning more yourself – we hope you keep OFI in mind!
NOTE REGARDING THE DATES: OFI celebrates Orangutan Awareness Week during the first week of November to honor the historical establishment of Camp Leakey by Dr. Galdikas in early November 1971. Many organizations have chosen to celebrate OAW during the second week of November, which simply means that there will be people celebrating and bringing awareness for two weeks instead of just one. Remember, there is no wrong time to celebrate orangutans!