Help us secure the future of our conservation and community partners
The world has changed. In four short months nothing is as it was. Healthcare systems, education, employment, production and everything we took for granted about human interaction has been turned on its head. The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be felt long after the curve has been flattened.
We believe that this time should be a time for reflection, a time to be mindful of others, to think about the impact we want to have on other people, and a time to think about how we want our world to be when we emerge. Things can never be the same.
International travel has been something we take for granted since the 1970s. The internet allows us to communicate with, watch, learn about and help wildlife and people across the globe. The world is small and the pandemic does not discriminate. Across the world we are experiencing job losses, an inability to work, food hoarding, industries slowing, schools closing, health services stretched to breaking point, and a looming global recession. Charities are suffering as people’s income is disappearing.
For the underprivileged worldwide, this is a time of extreme fear and suffering. Those who already live on the poverty line pre-COVID-19, who already relied on food banks and water aid to simply survive day to day, are the ones who will suffer the most. Today’s world is one where 820 million people go to bed hungry each night, and half the population of the earth survive on less than $2 a day. In this pandemic, more families will be going hungry.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, where 25% of the population is under-nourished and millions already rely on food aid, a consequence of increased human hardship is that the planet’s animals will suffer. Illegal poaching and the killing of wildlife for food will increase, as people struggle to survive.
Our volunteer programmes exist to improve the lives of communities and the welfare of wildlife. To raise awareness of the value of keeping endangered wildlife in the wild. To provide opportunities for vulnerable children and adults to access education, to learn new skills, to lift themselves from poverty, and ultimately protect the world’s wildlife.
These programmes need to operate regardless of COVID-19. They need your help.
International travel restrictions have meant volunteers have had to postpone placements and programmes have had to be suspended. This has had a devastating impact on our partners, who rely almost entirely on funding from volunteers and other foreign tourists to operate.
These operational costs include people to protect wildlife, equipment and fuel to carry out anti-poaching work, animal feed and veterinary costs, funds for community education and healthcare programmes, food parcels and household support. Your fees also include salaries for staff – project leaders, guides, cooks, maintenance teams and housekeepers. These people all have families to support, and are usually supporting large extended families. In Zimbabwe, our local staff members usually support more than eight people on their salary.
The ripple effect of a lack of tourism has been enormous.
We know that when you can travel, you will. What we, our partners and their staff on the ground are asking, is that you continue to book. To have faith that the world will open up to travel soon. Future bookings ensure that funds continue to come in so that they can continue to do their essential work and keep as many staff employed and animals fed as possible.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
– Mother Theresa
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