We’re excited to share with you our annual appeal letter from Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld!
Ten years ago, I stood at the top of Noloholo, which was then just a remote African hill of knee-high grass in a community that sought to eliminate lions killing livestock. I imagined, instead, a landscape where the survival of lions was shepherded and sustained by that very same community.
With that dream now a reality, I am thrilled to be celebrating our past decade of achievements and to share with you my vision for the next ten years at the African People & Wildlife Fund.
An innovative environmental center now stands at Noloholo, where we have developed and meticulously tested a comprehensive model for effective community-driven conservation. Beginning this year, we are now moving out of our 10-year development phase and into a decade of greater delivery by initiating the expansion of our programs to new areas of Northern Tanzania that are critical for big cat conservation.
Your past support has made this growth possible. Because of what you’ve given us, the African People & Wildlife Fund is now operating in five geographic areas of Northern Tanzania, stretching from our home base in the Tarangire-Manyara landscape to the world-renowned West Kilimanjaro-Amboseli ecosystem.
I hope you’ll be inspired by our 10th Anniversary Annual Appeal and by our journey ahead to support us today. With your help, we plan to bring our internationally-recognized model of community-based conservation to critical new communities.
- 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 550 Living Walls, saving 100 lions per year, protecting 100,000 head of cattle nightly and improving the lives of 10,000 people.
With your support, we will continue to expand this program to communities in need, installing 100-150 Living Walls annually and preventing conflict in areas where livestock and lions are also highly vulnerable.
- Educating today’s rural youth about conservation alongside their math and reading curriculums. 5,000 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 31 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 through our adult capacity building programs.
Our 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 grants to start environmentally-friendly businesses, enabling women to produce delicious Maasai Steppe honey.
We’re training more women in entrepreneurship and business management and will be distributing 20 new grants to outstanding applicants this year. Honey products are about to hit the shelves as we develop a pipeline of sustainable, conservation-minded income for vulnerable populations.
- 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 and big cat conflict officers work to safeguard wildlife including critical populations of elephant, fringe-eared oryx, African wild dog, cheetah and lion. Your donation can provide these talented individuals with uniforms, GPS equipment and personal development training to keep them on the side of wildlife.
In celebration of a decade of impact, I am very excited to announce the achievement of another dream: we have established an endowment fund to ensure the long-term sustainability of the African People & Wildlife Fund. If you wish to help build our endowment, you need only note this on your contribution and your support will be gratefully earmarked.
APW’s team is headquartered in the field, ensuring they understand conservation from the community’s perspective and allowing us to dedicate our funds toward real impact, rather than having to support significant overhead or administrative costs.
Your part in our 2015 10th Anniversary 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. Thank you, once again, for your continuing support.
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.