I thought I’d use this blog to launch our Christmas fundraising efforts. Last year was our first Christmas appeal, and was instrumental in kickstarting the work in the Omo Valley, supporting the Kara community with developing a community farm. This year we have decided to extend beyond our core ecosystems, partnering with the enormously fine Ecoexist Trust. We will do another blog in the next few weeks detailing some more specifics about the work we want to support Ecoexist achieve, but for now I wanted to introduce the organisation.
Based in Botswana, Ecoexist focus on human-elephant conflict seeking ways to enable communities to benefit from elephants so they are incentivised to be involved in protecting them. The focus is on helping humans and elephants share space rather than compete for it. Working both at a community and policy level they use awareness raising, education and research to help inform the key stakeholders and facilitate lasting change that enable communities and elephants to live and thrive alongside each other.
Part of the reason that we have decided to support Ecoexist this Christmas is that Botswana is going through a lot of change. We are keen to support organisations who think from both a wildlife and community perspective, helping the countries they operate in develop approach to managing nature in a way that local communities can benefit whilst conserving wildlife and wilderness for future generations. Certainly, growing competition for land between humans and elephant – coupled to the perception among local communities that they are not benefiting from wildlife – has seen a rise in poached elephant in Botswana, making the work of the likes of Ecoexist even more important.
At Wild Philanthropy, we don’t like to try and ‘hard sell’ our fundraising efforts. We have the huge benefit that many of our supporters have travelled with Journeys by Design (our partner company) and want to support efforts in Africa. Indeed, that was one of the driving forces behind WP’s establishment: to help people donate to high quality projects in Africa. However, as the end of the year approaches, I have seen many emails from other organisations asking their North American supporters to think of them as they plan their giving. As a registered 501(c)(3) we could be part of those plans, but I wouldn’t want to hard sell that to you…
If you are interested in supporting Ecoexist, please click here.
Image credit: Ecoexist