I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mama Helena Mbarnoti, chairwoman of a group that participates in our Women’s Beekeeping Initiative. Mama Helena told me that as the women develop their beekeeping businesses, men in the community are taking note. She said, “Now we are seen as having a purpose beyond our traditional household roles.” Transformational experiences like this one continually inspire me as the African People & Wildlife Fund begins an exciting new era. With ten years of remarkable achievements behind us, we have entered our next decade of growth and expansion—a decade that I believe is filled with hope and possibility.
As a nimble organization, APW continually finds new ways for people and wildlife to thrive together in a world that we see changing all around us. Wildlife populations must be able to survive and flourish as human settlements increasingly collide with their habitats. Pastoralists need to adapt to changing environmental conditions and demands on their land. Habitats must continue to sustain both people and wildlife while under the pressures of climate change. Communities need to find environmentally-friendly ways to achieve prosperity despite limited access to educational opportunities, infrastructure, and technology.
In the face of such complex and evolving challenges, APW actively seeks to find the balance for communities and nature in order to ensure a thriving future for Africa’s people and wildlife. We have achieved significant milestones for big cat conservation, the prevention of human-wildlife conflict, environmental education, habitat and wildlife protection, and the improved livelihoods of rural people, particularly women, including:
- 650 Living Walls (and counting!) are now in place across five programmatic areas in Northern Tanzania, impacting the lives of 12,500 people every day and saving more than 150 lions each year
- 150,000 trees have been planted as fence posts for Living Walls
- More than 1,000 women across 50 women’s groups are involved in sustainable enterprise development
- More than 700 beehives are protecting critical wildlife habitats
- More than 6,000 schoolchildren have benefited from environmental education programs, developing an increased environmental awareness and sense of civic responsibility
- 30 exceptional rural youth are receiving full-ride scholarships to secondary school
- More than $30,000 in small grants have been disbursed to rural communities in support of community-driven conservation projects
- Nearly 1,000 adults have participated in environmental management seminars
It is because of the generosity of supporters like you that these successes have been possible. I sincerely hope that you will continue to stand with us as we move forward on our journey to secure a bright and sustainable future for Africa’s people and wildlife.
Some of the specific goals your support will help us accomplish over the next year include:
- Extending our conservation model to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, bringing the total number of programmatic areas to six
- Installing 100 more Living Walls for communities in need
- Growing our scholarship program to allow even more exceptional rural youth to reach their full potential
- Enhancing and increasing our support of women’s groups participating in our beekeeping initiative
- Developing new systems for rural communities to monitor and effectively manage the health of their rangelands
- Continuing training and support for our more than 40 Warriors for Wildlife
As a field-based organization, our lean operating model allows us to dedicate funds toward real impact on the ground. In fact, last year more than 96% of donations directly supported our conservation programs. If you would like to have 100% of your gift allocated to a specific program or activity, please note this on your contribution.
As we continue to grow as an organization, we are also working to generate greater awareness of our work and reach a wider audience. We will be publishing thought-provoking content on our Medium blog, ramping up our presence on social media, and launching a new website shortly—look for our announcement! I hope you will follow these exciting developments online and help us to amplify our message by sharing our stories and updates with your friends and contacts.
Thank you so much for being a part of the positive impact we are making on the ground in partnership with local communities. Your participation in our annual appeal will help us move ever closer to a world in balance. I am deeply grateful for your support.
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.
Co-founder and Executive Director