We’re excited to share with you our annual appeal letter from Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld!
This year, more than ever before, I have been waking up at night to a marvelous sound: the roars of a lion close to camp. And despite the tough drought just a year ago, I have been sighting incredible numbers of species who were always much too elusive: African elephants, African wild dogs, and rare southern populations of fringe-eared oryx.
Data collected by APW’s conservation officers show our impact on wildlife in East Africa – we are saving record numbers of lions, engaging thousands of community members, protecting tens of thousands of livestock, and watching wildlife population numbers increase steadily.
Your past support has made this change possible. Because of what you’ve given us, the African People & Wildlife Fund is succeeding at creating spaces for people and wildlife to live together in harmony.
I hope you’ll be inspired by this success and that you will fund what I believe will be our most impactful year yet. As our 10th anniversary approaches, I’d like to tell you a little bit about what you’ve helped us accomplish and what we have planned for our exciting next year!
– Living Walls save lions by keeping the majestic African lion out of livestock corrals. This prevents angry livestock-keepers from killing lions. We’ve built more than 400 Living Walls, saving 75 lions per year, protecting 75,000 head of cattle nightly and improving the lives of 7,000 people.
With your support we will expand the area in which we build Living Walls to cover new places beyond the Maasai Steppe where livestock and lions are also highly vulnerable.
– Educating today’s rural youth about conservation alongside their math and reading curriculums. 4,000 children receive access to our environmental programs such as after-school Wildlife Clubs, elite environmental summer camps and special environmental scholarships for high school education.
Wildlife Clubs will expand to new schools (at least 500 more children), and we will continue to grow our scholarship program – with 26 students currently receiving support. Your donation helps our staff to function in these remote areas, bringing supplies, new learning experiences, and a brighter future to eager kids.
– Supporting outstanding community leaders to manage their natural resources such as water and rangelands in sustainable ways, all through our adult environmental education seminars.
Our new Noloholo Environmental Small Project Fund gives these citizens a chance to put their resource management plans into practice in a way that improves the landscape for wildlife – whether it’s shoring up their watershed, creating policies around use of pasturage, or simply organizing a village clean-up. You will help us provide education and funding to new groups of ambitious adults.
– Empowering groups of women, for the first time, to earn an income that nobody can take away from them. Our small business microfund provides grant money to start environmentally-friendly businesses, producing delicious honey on the Maasai Steppe.
We’re training more women in entrepreneurship and business management and will be distributing our second round of grants to outstanding applicants. We are developing a pipeline of sustainable, conservation-minded income for vulnerable people.
– Employing young Maasai men and women as “Warriors for Wildlife”. We train these influential youth and adults to work in support of our programs, diffusing people-animal conflicts and helping us to monitor wildlife numbers.
Our community scouts will complement the work of 16 other organizations focused on elephant conservation as part of our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action (just one example of how we partner with other NGOs). Your donation can provide these talented individuals with uniforms, GPS equipment and personal development training to keep them on the side of wildlife.
It isn’t often that I have time to reflect back on our work at the African People & Wildlife Fund. When I sit down to write this letter, however, I’m amazed at how much we’ve done in a very small amount of time. It is all because of youand our amazing team that we have been so successful.
Your part in our 2014 Annual Appeal will build the foundation for the next ten years of our work in Africa. The global development community is recognizing how effective our model of community-driven conservation is, and you are key to our work in the next year and in the next decade!
Thank you so much for sharing our journey to save lions and other incredible wildlife in partnership with rural communities, and thank you, once again, for your continuing support.
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.
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