"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 Lion Day is 10th August and you may well have seen things on social media or in the press about the current situation facing the world lion population. It’s hard to believe that in the last century, the numbers of lions has declined by 90% and the most optimistic figures indicate that only about 20,000 remain in the wild today. In South Africa people are now actively marketing lion bones to China. These are the ‘end product’ from the dreadful ‘canned hunting’ process that operates there - more information on this can be found on the AfriCat website and other places. What will that do to the wild population? On July 7, Cecil the lion's son, Xanda, was shot and killed just outside the Hwange National Park where hunting wildlife is permitted but just two kilometres outside of the park. There are calls to make a buffer type zone where hunting is not permitted around national parks – can we really stand by and see the demise of lions in the wild?
AfriCat in Namibia works to ensure that all carnivores, including lions, can continue to live in the wild and does this through a range of strategies and approaches including working with local communities whose lives and livestock are under threat by lion predation. As a part of World Lion Day we are trying to raise funds to purchase ‘lion lights’ that are placed around the kraals to add another level of deterrence and protection to the livestock. These lights have been successfully used in other parts of Africa.
Some of you I know will have already seen and shared information about World Lion Day and the situation facing the lions but if not, and you can, please do and if you so desire donations towards the lights can be made at Lion Lights
The Phantom of the Opera (Julian’s 1925 file version) will be screened at the London Coliseum on Sunday October 8, with the world premiere of Roy Budd’s score performed by the Docklands Sinfonia orchestra.
The producers of this special event have kindly agreed to support AfriCat by donating a percentage of each ticket sold to our Charity.
Date: Sunday the 8th October
Venue: London Coliseum
Time: 5 pm
Tickets: from London Coliseum
More information about Roy Budd’s score and the history read Roy Budd's Phantom of the Opera
“Roy Budd’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA score is a masterpiece of film scoring.”
See you there!
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!
Carey and Janet from AfriCat UK are tackling different walks.
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!
You can still donate and support Carey’s walk at or sponsor Janet via this weblink
Janet is building up to her night walk in the New Forest in October where she will be joined by others walking for AfriCat. Janet is building up her weekly walking regime and sorting out her slightly troublesome knee that has the habit of giving way on her.
Linda from Discover the World is busy persuading colleagues to join her in Richmond Park.
Update: Congratulations to all who took part in the Schools Walk, brilliant effort by all concerned and with the Guinness Record achieved as well.
As could be expected people attending the performance of An Audience with Chris Packham came away inspired and entertained. The evenings included discussion on Chris’s book ‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar’ with the second half being a question and answer session from the floor. Over the three nights topics ranged from Chris’s favourite animal (his dog Scratchy); to where to go bird watching (your local patch) to how to prevent illegal persecution of birds in the UK, Malta and Cyprus and other conservation concerns for example the impact of leaving the EU. Chris' message was clear if you care about the environment then using legal methods and the power of social media make a difference by letting politicians and decisions makers and others aware of your views.
AfriCat Uk was delighted to be able to meet so many people during the evenings. It was lovely to hear account of visits from those who had been to Okonjima the home of the Africat Foundation. As well as selling our goods to raise funds and explaining AfriCat’s work we promoted the Walk 4 Wildlife encouraging people to take part particularly with the schools walk on the 19th May 2017
When AfriCat UK took a call from Village Vet last year we were delighted to start building a partnership to promote the work of the AfriCat in Namibia. Happily for AfriCat Brendan Village Vet’s MD went on holiday to Namibia with his family and stayed at Okonjima, the home of the AfriCat Foundation, during the annual animal health checks. His experience working with the AfriCat Namibian team seeing firsthand the research, care and treatment of the cats motivated him to offer AfriCat the opportunity to become a charitable partner linked with the cat hospital facility of Village Vet.
AfriCat's newest project is to try and secure the funds to buy and equip a new mobile vet clinic. This will support the work of AfriCat in Namibia helping work in the bush when collaring lions or other animals and enabling improved support to be offered to communal farmers when their animals are injured by predators or become entangled with man-made hazards like snares.
Village Vet has a number of practices in London and the Home Counties check them out www.villagevet.co.uk
Update February 2017
AfriCat North has received a very generous donation from Holland which is about 25% of the cost of phase 1. AfriCat Uk’s adopt a brick stands at 4% of the total, project money we have received from recent fundraising events will boost the total to around 50% of the need so we are making progress.
What could you do?
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/africatadoptabrick and help this drought affected community to build their lives.
Location: Onguta Village, Ehirovipuka Conservancy, Kunene Region, north-west Namibia.
The Onguta Primary School, in the Ehirovipuka Conservancy, comprises of two tents as classrooms, (the third blew away in a recent gale) sand floors and a metal trunk for storage; extreme heat and dust makes for less than ideal learning conditions! Yet, the three teachers and community are dedicated and keen to educate their children as best they can. One teacher is trying to build a temporary structure in which to teach next term. The traditional leader is a conservationist, and an exemplary leader. His aim is to offer schooling to 150 primary aged children. He is committed to the AfriCat Livestock Protection Programme (LPP) and is instrumental in minimising the persecution of large carnivores in his area of jurisdiction.
The current school.
Tammy with Carey Widdows AfriCat UK Director and Trustee and teacher Miss Herunga discussing the situation.
The community has pledged to make bricks, they have located a site and started to clear the ground. They helped to dig the trench, across rough rocky sandy dusty ground, for the water pipes to a water tank donated by AfriCat. A Namibian Architect, who designs eco-friendly projects, has been approached to design the school in its entirety; local builders will be sourced to take on this project, under AfriCat’s supervision. Volunteer opportunities to help with the construction are being explored. A school playground was built by AfriCat in April 2015, materials donated by farmers and businesses (old tyres and metal poles), the painting and hard labour undertaken by 18 students of the Private School in Swakopmund.
AfriCat wants to support this pro-active community by developing a formal school. This work forms a part of AfriCat‘s Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme and Community Support Programme. We are very keen to create a better learning environment to help the children and adults in the community improve their education and thereby enhance their future prosperity in a sustainable way. AfriCat is committed to empowering farming communities in carnivore-conflict zones, to better manage and protect their livestock, to mitigate conflict and reduce carnivore persecution and has helped communal farming communities since 1997.
To make a donation: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/africatadoptabrick
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