Kenya – news from Born Free

Dear Friends

Firstly, let me wish you a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Sadly, it is not so for our colleagues and friends in Kenya and, of course, the people of Kenya.  I am sure you have been, like me, watching and listening to the news regularly with a growing sense of shock and sadness as the situation escalates.  It is certainly a tragic time for this wonderful country – we are all hoping that somehow this can all be resolved before the repercussions for the whole of Kenya are too great to repair. 

Some good news is we have been in touch with all our staff and they and their families are all safe.  We have also contacted many of the projects we support there and news from them has been all good. This is an enormous relief.

Understandably, the Foreign Office has advised that only essential travel to Kenya should take place and as I write some UK companies have suspended holidays to Kenya until further notice.  Tourism, and in particular wildlife tourism, has established itself as one of the most important economic activities in Kenya contributing nearly $1 billion to the economy in 2006 and providing livelihoods and employment to nearly 200,000 Kenyan. Any significant reduction in visitors will affect the whole country. 

We have learnt today (3rd January) that the planned protest march which was due to take place in the centre of Nairobi has been postponed so we are all praying here that this might give an opportunity for talks to begin and a peaceful solution to be found.

Meanwhile, Born Free will continue to do whatever it can for the projects, wildlife and people that we support.

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