Born Free’s Global Friends programme awards grants to local partner organisations to help them deliver vital, grass roots conservation education efforts in Africa.
We believe changing human behaviour is a key part of long term conservation efforts and helps preserve wildlife. For example, human-wildlife conflict is a serious threat facing many species across Africa, as well as human communities. By working with local people through education initiatives, we can help equip them to co-exist with wildlife and protect their environment.
The grants vary in size and support a wide variety of projects and needs. In 2019, Global Friends supported five partners – here is what the funds helped to achieve:
Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, in Zambia, worked closely with a number of local conservation clubs. Their Community Conservation Educators conducted 16 outreach sessions per week to conservation clubs. This outreach included a module to support their student-led No Plastic environmental campaign, including practical plastic audits and litter picking in the community; aquatic surveys, animal track identification, climate change and animal behaviour to avoid human-wildlife conflict; a number of conservation clubs were also tasked with keeping a stretch of river clear of small snares.
In Uganda, The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust bought a boat to help them reach the schools they work with on neighbouring islands.
The Pole Pole Foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is planning a football tournament with local teenagers to increase awareness of the plight of the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, in Malawi, is working with local women to turn collected snares into jewellery. This promotes anti-poaching efforts and produces souvenirs for tourists that do not contain wildlife products.
Zambia Primate Project ran a poster campaign to increase awareness about local wildlife laws to reduce the keeping of primates as pets.
Some of these projects are one-off events and some are ongoing, however, Global Friends will continue to support these important partner organisations in 2020.