Sacramento Non-Profit Makes Huge Impact in Zambia
Saving African Wildlife from Extinction
[Sacramento, CA.] At the current level of illegal poaching and slaughter in Africa, experts say that elephants will be extinct within 5 to 15 years.
“Today’s wildlife crisis can feel overwhelming,” says Sacramento local Carol Van Bruggen, co-founder of The Africa Hope Fund and partner in a well known financial advisory firm. “But we’ve found that small, very strategic projects can have a tremendous impact.”
Since 2008, Carol and her husband Steve Kuhn have helped create impressive progress in protecting wildlife in the South Luangwa Valley of Zambia. “It’s broader than supporting anti-poaching efforts,” says Steve. “We saw the need for children to become educated, not only to have skills to make a living wage, but also to appreciate wildlife and how it affects their economy, culture and quality of life.”
The Africa Hope Fund’s successful projects in Zambia so far include:
- Sponsorship of 30 children to attend secondary school and college.
- Building 6 new classrooms and a library for a dilapidated primary school, increasing the student body from 320 to 730.
- Funding local scouting patrols who find and arrest poachers, locate snares, and rescue animals caught in snares.
- Conservation education programs and classes for local children, several of whom now have careers in wildlife conservation.
- The first three detection dogs in Zambia who find elephant ivory, rhino horns, bush meat, other wildlife contraband, guns and ammunition. (featured on TedTalks and in The Guardian)
“In the very first year, one of our detection dogs helped catch 150 poachers, which means he saved at least that many elephants, lions and wild dogs,” Carol notes.
The Africa Hope Fund’s bi-annual fundraiser, Safari on the River, will be held in Sacramento on August 26th. This fun event features African drummers and dancers, an African Marketplace, and African-themed food. Presenters will be Rachel McRobb and Benson Kanyembo, who work on the frontlines of the anti-poaching effort in Zambia, as well as Megan Parker who heads up Working Dogs for Conservation. Safari on the River is also an official Farm to Fork event.
About The Africa Hope Fund: Founded in 2008, The Africa Hope Fund’s vision is: A world where animals no longer need to be protected from man. For further information, bios of founders and Safari event presenters, please see http://africahopefund.org