1.jpg (original size)An all-female team of 9 different nationalities, under the banner of WOAM, accompanied the nomadic Nenets (reindeer herders of Siberia) on one of their biannual 60km-journeys on the icy landscape during winter, across the Gulf of Ob, which is a bay of the Arctic Ocean.

Having resolved that I should travel once a year, to immerse myself in foreign culture, languages and lifestyles, and give back to community; it was serendipitous when I came across Women On A Mission (WOAM) while flipping the pages of an in-flight magazine.

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A non-profit organisation, with its headquarters in Singapore, WOAM organises workshops, talks and self-funded expeditionary travels to remote locations around the world for humanitarian causes.

Each year, since 2012, the organisation has embarked on challenging missions to create awareness and raise funds for charities; engaging with institutions that are dedicated to serving the less fortunate, with a focus towards women’s issues.

My first WOAM adventure, in partnership with Women for Women International (which helps women who are victims of war and civil strife by provoding them with skills and resources) took me to Siberia to live among the Nenets in November 2015, followed by a biking expedition in Cambodia last year.

2.jpg (original size)The WOAM team lived with a tribe of 12, three families, who had 10,000 reindeers.

3.jpg (original size)The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the 70s and the expanding infrastructure on the Yamal Peninsula has endangered the Nenets, the world's oldest surviving true nomads.

4.jpg (original size)The men are said to recognise the reindeers they train by their faces.

5.jpg (original size)If you don't drink warm blood and eat fresh meat, you are doomed to die on the tundra.

Read the complete story in our May 2017 issue, headlined by cover stars Vivy Yusof and Fadza Anuar of FashionValet.

Watch the the video here.

See Moscow and St Petersburg through the eyes of avid traveller Sheena Teo.

Tags: Humanitarian Work, Siem Reap, Non-profit Organisation, Siberia, Women On A Mission