"Ultimately conservation is about people. If you don’t have sustainable development around wildlife
parks – then the people will have no interest in them and the parks will not survive." NELSON MANDELA
AfriCat UK is a registered charity whose vision statement is "Conservation, Environmental Education, Research and Community Enhancement". We predominantly support and raise awareness of the AfriCat Foundation (a registered Namibian not for profit organisation).
AfriCat Foundation HQ is based at Okonjima www.okonjima.com, a private, 200km² nature reserve, 50 kilometers south of Otjiwarongo in central Namibia, and the AfriCat North base borders, western Etosha National Park. The AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early 90's and formally registered as a non-profit organisation in August 1993.
AfriCat has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organisation has over the years identified the need to include a focus on child and adult education and research as being essential to accomplishing our mission - the long-term conservation of Namibia's large carnivores and the enhancement of the surrounding communities.
Working with Communal Conservancies - An opportunity to transform livelihoods.
The importance of working with the communities who live alongside predators and suffer loss of livestock has perhaps not always been seen as crucial to long term sustainable populations of carnivores but is essential. Isolated populations in parks will not ensure the survival of endangered species in the wider eco systems. In the northwest around Kaross, most Conservancies rely on subsistence farming, herding goats and cattle. They live next to a National Park with healthy populations of lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah. The results are predictable. Unprotected livestock is picked off by predators and poor communities struggle. AfriCat works with the Communal Conservancies to build strong kraals (livestock enclosures) to protect animals, to encourage employment of herdsmen and to manage grazing to improve grass quality. The impact on these farmers’ lives from small changes in practice and assistance in the cost of protecting their animals can be transformational.
This is just to say a very big thank you for your kind support in helping the Onguta school to become a reality by adopting a brick or two! We are delighted to have been able to get the funds together for phase 1 of the school so the project can get off the ground. The funds came from a very generous donation, legacies and the funds raised at last year’s charity dinner. It’s great news and there is lots of work happening ‘behind the scenes’ to get the work underway in the coming months. Hopefully we will have updated pictures for you in the New Year.
We thought you might like to see the plans for the whole project. We have just got phase 1 funding secured which are the classrooms - each set of classrooms has its battery / solar system (the pink areas near the school zone) and the ablutions, which may be downsized a bit in phase 1! The cylindrical structures around the perimeter are water tanks, which will be filled both with rain water and from the borehole , no running water systems as in the UK. One water tank has been donated and is in situ. Solar panels will be fitted onto most of the roofs, thus the roofs are angled (A-Frame) and the positioning of the buildings according to best use of the sun.
The architect constructions are extremely practical, make use of as much natural material as we would like, powered by solar and wind, water tanks in pertinent places (obviously raised for best pressure), maximum use of space under-roof, with innovative ideas such as the rounded classrooms, various levels and sections within one structure for maximum educational stimulation, etc.
The future phases include the teacher’s accommodation and the kitchen dining area with a vegetable patch. It will be a transformation from the current situation which you can see below. Yes you have guessed it we will be starting the fundraising for phase 2 . . .
3 AfriCat walkers made the 20 miles of the Walk 4 Wildlife 2017 Night Walk in the New Forest on 28th October.
Janet said "having been brought up in the New Forest I thought it would be fun to go back and explore it at night which it was! Getting lost in the wood was not part of the plan and seeing boggy patches before your foot sinks down into the mud becomes a challenge but it was fun. The 20 miles did present a considerable personal challenge and while it did help me to get fitter, I found I walked much slower than the rest of the group. Taking into account a variety of factors, such as the leader needing to be back in time for a rest before the next group and it not being very sensible to walk alone at 4am Carey took over so the group could stay together and the walk finish at the planned time of 6am. Many thanks for all of you whose kindly donations have helped to raise much needed funds for AfriCat’s work with lions in Namibia.
Muddy and tired these are the walkers at the end of 20 miles walking from 10pm Saturday to 6am Sunday morning.
Congratulations to Andrea Georgina and Janet/Carey for their hard work and effort in completing the Night walk in the New Forest and in raising funds for AfriCat. You can you support their efforts at Virgin Money Giving by clicking Andrea/Georgina or Janet
Congratulations to Carey from AfriCat UK for successfully completing the 30km walk along the South Downs in somewhat blustery conditions. Carey said he was pleased to be able to walk for AfriCat and help support the Lion Projects near Etosha. Walking with a team for Save the Rhino he said it was a challenge but it was fun and over the miles was able to discuss many conservation issues with his fellow walkers. Here they are at the start, after lunch on the march and ready for anything!
Simon Palmer has put together a 2018 calendar of his stunning shots taken at AfriCat. He is donating a percentage to AfriCat. Check out http://www.cheetahworld.com/Support/funding/ and do not forget to look at the art section art section for other gift ideas. New people are being added so do keep checking it out!
BIG CATS and BIG SMILES
Text: Nina van Schalkwyk
Photographs Elzanne Erasmus & Nina van Schalkwyk
There's a certain kind of fevour that is seen only in the eyes of people with a passion for education. Gleaming with their fondness for it.
Is it because they are changing the world, one pliable mind at a time? That must be it. I am thinking this while chatting to Sue Wagner, a lifelong teacher and this weekend's chaperone for the Mondesa Youth Opportunities (MYO) kids, who's got exactly that look in her eyes. The MYO group arrived the previous night at AfriCat's Okonjima Nature Reserve, just south of Otjiwarongo, to take part in an AfriCat education programme, or veldskool.
The group came all the way from Swakopmund, where most of them have lived their whole lives. In fact, as Sue tells me, the aim behind this weekend's excursion is to showcase a part of Namibia that they have never seen before.
Read the whole article:
Travel News Namibia Spring 2017: