Matching gift campaign: Double your impact for animals around the worldRead more
Once a year we’re fortunate enough to give our amazing supporters the chance to double their impact without having to double their donation. How? Via the Big Give Christmas Challenge!
This year we’ve been selected to take part once again in this epic fundraiser and we need you to help us raise vital funds for our animal-focused community project in Malawi. We’re looking to raise £63,100 to create sustainable livelihoods, enhance food and water security and to change perceptions and attitudes towards local wildlife within communities.
Malawi is home to around 18 million people and it is among the world's least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture with a largely rural population, and the lack of support for communities has traditionally discouraged a potential ally in the protection of elephants.
Historically local communities have been at the frontline of human-wildlife conflict, having to deal with the negative impacts of elephants with little support. It’s so easy to be angry when we hear of people in far-flung places not protecting their wildlife and it’s easy to sit in our secure homes eating our secure food sources, asking ‘how could anyone hurt an elephant?’
For most of us, it’s all too easy to pop to the supermarket when our food runs out or to simply turn on the tap when we need water. But, just for a moment, imagine that you had to share these food and water sources with elephants, with lions, with other animals that could hurt you or your family. Imagine your only source of food was trampled by an elephant. Imagine that a loved one was killed by an elephant. It seems unthinkable for so many, but for others it is their reality.
That’s why we have to work with communities to help them live in harmony with their native wildlife, by separating resources, protecting livelihoods and nurturing a better understanding of the benefits that a harmonious relationship with wildlife can bring to communities.
As part of our Big Give project, we will work with the community to identify livelihood and educational opportunities which make a positive correlation between increased economic opportunities and the need to stop poaching of elephants and human-wildlife conflict. We will train people to build and maintain important fencing to protect homes; we will train people to become farmers giving them the skills they need to look after crops, keep bees and maintain irrigation systems.
The project covers three villages and serves 3,500 individuals. Elephants have flourished and species such as cheetah and lions have been reintroduced into a safe environment. The villages have gone from three human deaths a month as a result of human wildlife conflict to now experiencing zero deaths in the past four years. Food production from the farm has resulted in a 71% increase in protein consumption. Crop rotations have increased from 2 to 3 a year enhancing food security and income generation. This is true community and wildlife success, but we need to build on it further.
Our work in Malawi will be challenging and multi-layered, but it will be effective. We’ll continue to work to change local people’s perceptions of wildlife and to make their ways of life not only harmonious with wildlife protection, but also intrinsically linked to wildlife protection.
Our work will save wildlife and only you can help us achieve this. Please support this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge from midday on Tuesday 27th November to midday on Tuesday 4th December. You’ll be doubling your impact, doubling your help and doubling your donation without any additional cost.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge comes just once a year, and it really is a unique opportunity to make your donation go further. Every single donation we receive is important and every little helps, whatever the amount. So, when the time comes, please get online, show your support and help us help both people and wildlife in Malawi. Just click the button below and get your donation matched. Matched funds are strictly first come first served, so get in quick and make a difference.
IFAW is about creating a better future for people and animals. Without the kind donations we receive from supporters, we simply cannot achieve this vision. Thank you.
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