Rubens Rainforest Reunion
£1,017 raised
20% of £5k goal
25 contributors
4 Years running

Hi There

Well where do I start? A year ago, I was at work as normal, when a customer, Rachel, and her son, Ruben, came into my workplace. Having recently moved to Devon from Ireland she was inquiring about local knowledge and we started chatting. From that meeting, we became friends.

During the last year, I have seen and been on the receiving end of the hand of friendship that Rachel extends to anyone and everyone she meets.  She has become an integral part of the local community and has seen me and others through some difficult times in the sort time I have known her. Whenever I see her, in her busy schedule, she is always on some mission or another that involves helping someone or some animal in crisis.

Rachel has also, in the last year, made a success of not just one business, but two, from scratch and works tirelessly to provide for her son Ruben. She runs her own dog training school here in the local community, following her passion for animals and providing force free, welfare friendly dog training and behaviour. With her motivation as always, to save dogs and families the heart ache of re-homing their pets due to behavioural issues.  She also has a second business, face painting, which keeps her ticking over.

Rachel has also chosen to home educate her son Ruben. As she is a single mother, her decision to home educate has meant she has no option but to be self-employed and make it work, no matter what.

Having seen the struggles a single woman has to deal with in her daily life, just to make ends meet and having met Rachel and seen the convictions she has for her beliefs in education, across the board, her strong beliefs in attachment parenting, animal welfare and reaching out the hand of friendship to those in need, I felt it would be a fitting tribute to both herself and Ruben to give the general public a glimpse into the life of a single woman on a mission to provide for her son and give others a chance to celebrate that by supporting her with a small token from us, her friends,  by way of helping her to reunite with the father of her child who lives in the rain forests of Borneo.

So, with the support of her other friends I have set up this fundraiser. Ruben’s Rainforest Reunion. The story below gives us a glimpse into where this whole story began.



Back in 2009, Rachel was working in Borneo at Sepilok’s Rehabilitation centre. She was the liaison officer working on behalf of one of the UK based charities that financially support the centre.

Rachel worked alongside the volunteers at the centre and rangers employed by the Sabah Wildlife Department. All working for a common cause to insure the successful rehabilitation of one of the most endangered creatures on this planet. The Malaysian Orang-utan.

During this time, she became very close with a Ranger. He was single father to four children, who worked alongside the Orang-utans for up to 14 hours a day. Rachel fell in love with his integrity for his job and his children. And so the love story began.

Irwan with Rubin (the Orangutan)

When Rachel’s contract came to an end in Borneo she was due to renew it for a further year with the charity. However, due to political unrest within the sectors, she was flown back to head office in the UK where she continued her work to support the orang-utans. However, not long after her return, she realised she had come back with a little surprise. That surprise was who her friends and family know today as Ruben Wan Meadows. Rachel and Irwan’s son.

Rachel birthed Ruben in Ireland, with the support of her mom. However, with the economic downturn of the Irish economy Rachel made the brave decision to move to the UK and start a completely new life for herself and her son. Facing homelessness on several occasions since having Ruben, she has fought against all adds to get herself to where she is today. She has come through some fantastic struggles in her life and continues to work hard every day to better herself spiritually, mentally and physically. As a single mother in today’s economy, she continues her struggle on a weekly basis to put food on the table and a roof over her head. Is would be highly unlikely she would ever have the opportunity to provide the funds to reunite her son with his father.

In 2012 Rachel managed to take Ruben to see his Dad in Borneo, as Ruben travelled for free.

Ruben and Rachel have maintained constant contact with Irwan over the last 6 years.


Ruben was only two years old at the time of his visit. However, he still remembers his dad, and his exciting adventure in the rainforest.

Due to the financial constraints of both Irwan and Rachel, being single parents, it is highly unlikely that they will ever be able to meet again. Ruben is of an age now, fast approaching 5 that he dearly wants to see his Dad again.  Time passes so quickly and after maintaining contact for so long, a reunion of Father and son is so desperately needed.

I think I can speak for all of Rachel and Ruben’s friends and family when I say that they are two very deserving people of such a gift of reunion.

So, having come full circle, this brings me back to what the fundraiser page is for. Through donations and other events held throughout the summer, I hope to raise the profile of Ruben’s plight and the funds to enable himself and his mom reunite with Irwan and his four other beautiful children later this year. Given the financial status of Ruben’s father and four other children in Malaysia, I will endeavour to raise enough money to buy his family beds to sleep on and any other basics that they are in need of.

Ruben is so excited at the prospect of seeing his father and to take with him, enough funds to help his family have the very basics in their home to make their life just that little bit easier.

Anyone who has met Ruben, or understands the importance of the bond between Father & Son, will hopefully see this as a worthwhile cause. We are looking at auctioning of some drawings, organising table-top events, sponsored challenges, and any other ideas we can come up with to help raise our total. We also accept donations of any amount, which is simple to do, through a Paypal payment.

Irwan lives and works in an area of Borneo, which could be dangerous for Ruben to travel too. So the trip would require Ruben and Rachel, to arrange to meet and stay with Irwan in a safe part of the country. To achieve this we aim to raise £4000 for the trip to re-unite Ruben with his dad and a further £1000 to improve Irwan's standard of living and provide him with the basics for his home and family in Borneo.

If you think this is a worthwhile cause, or know Rachel and Ruben, and would like to help them to achieve their target they hope for, please spread the word, share the page and highlight this cause as much as you can and of course, follow their progress. The Facebook page "Ruben's Rainforest Reunion" is also up and running. No matter how small, feel free to make a donation or support the upcoming events.



Thank you for taking the time to read about Ruben’s Rainforest Reunion

There will be a list of all contributions, donations and amounts from events forthcoming.

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