"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.
World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2018 under the theme “Big cats: predators under threat".
"Big cats are among the most widely recognized and admired animals across the globe. However, today these charismatic predators are facing many and varied threats, which are mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. For example, tiger populations plummeted by 95% over the past 100 years and African lion populations dropped by 40% in just 20 years. But a range of measures are underway to arrest this decline.
In an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, the expanded definition of big cats is being used, which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar -- the 4 largest wild cats that can roar - but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded leopard, etc. Big cat species are found in Africa, Asia, and North, Central and South America, representing a virtually global distribution, and representations of big cats, such as for car logos, by sporting clubs and the fashion industry, are used globally.
Over the past century we have been losing big cats, the planet’s most majestic predators, at an alarming rate. World Wildlife Day 2018 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about their plight and to galvanize support for the many global and national actions that are underway to save these iconic species. Through World Wildlife Day big cats will generate the level of attention they all deserve to be sure they are with us for generations to come." http://wildlifeday.org
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.
Thanks to the generosity of AfriCat supporters in the UK and the Netherlands phase one of the school, the classrooms are under construction. The children and the community are reportedly very excited to see what has been talked about for so long become a reality. The community needs a meeting area, a place where people can gather and share information and even learn new skills so the plan is to add a meeting area to the school with a kitchen dining area with a vegetable patch and accommodation for the teachers. Your donation would be really appreciated by the community or fundraising ideas would be very welcome. More information at www.africat.org
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 . . .
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 is now off the ground. The funds came from the adopt a brick campaign, a very generous donation, legacies and the money raised at the Olympic rowers charity dinner. It’s great news. A lot of work was done ‘behind the scenes’ to get the work underway. Below you can see the plans for the whole project below.
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.
This picture was take of the foundations just before the work was paused for the 'summer break' which in Namibia is over Christmas and into January. We are waiting for the latest pictures and will add them when they arrive.
AfriCat is delighted to have been chosen by Blair Drummond Safari Park to be their charity of the year and are very pleased to be working with them to raise awareness of the plight of lions in the wild and will help their fund raising efforts for a collar to support the AfriCat Lion Research Project. Many thanks to Stuart and the Team at Blair Drummond
Tackling human wildlife conflict is at the centre of AfriCat's work. AfriCat UK is seeking to raise the funds to buy and equip a mobile vet clinic.
The plan is to use the vehicle to help to:
Such projects illustrate the value of keeping carnivores in the wild as it is local people who directly benefit from wildlife conservation and work alongside other community support and education projects.
Donations can be made by clicking here. More information on the project can be found at www.africat.org on the projects and wish list pages. If you have fund rising ideas we would just love to hear from you: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruited from the communities they serve the Africat Lion Guards play a vital role in supporting fellow farmers to adapt and adopt researched livestock management techniques and husbandry that have been shown to help reduce livestock losses to predation and help the farmer to build their livelihoods in a sustainable way. The Lion Guards working under the direction of Tammy at AfriCat North and with the backing and approval of the senior members of their communities help with a range of tasks from monitoring boundary fences to supporting kraal building. AfriCat UK is seeking funding of £25,000 to meet the costs for a year. Donations really help Africat and the community work together for the benefit of all. Do let us know of any fundraising idea you have by emailing email@example.com, all contributions go direct to the project and make a difference. More information can be found at AfriCat: Lion Guards
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!