PLEASE SAVE THE DATE FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13TH FOR OUR 3rd ANNUAL “TOAST FOR TUSKS” AT WITCH CREEK WINERY!!! More information coming soon!
Dear Nsefu Wildlife Friends,
So far…2019 has proven itself to be a banner year for our foundation and we have YOU to thank for that.
I just returned from Zambia and wanted to share all the accomplishments of Nsefu Wildlife in the wild and in the community. To say that it is “amazing” would be a huge understatement. To see firsthand all of our accomplishments on a very limited budget and in 4 ½ years fills me with incredible pride. My amazing cofounder Victory Wallace and Team Nsefu Zambia have been doing outstanding things all in the name of conservation and community! We are making great strides with our strategy of dovetailing our anti poaching efforts with community engagement. We are creating long-term change and we are supporting the long-term success of the local community in order to protect their future and livelihoods.
BREAKING NEWS- We have breaking news this month of TWO major sting operations in which 6 individuals were arrested for poaching. Two of the arrested include a MAJOR ivory kingpin and his son and we caught them with ivory which makes their crime receive a harsher punishment. Its early days and all individuals will have their day in court, but in one week, Nsefu Wildlife did amazing work in the field!!
Our Nsefu Wildlife Rangers protect wildlife 365 days a year and are always working to be one step ahead of the poacher. We work side by side with the Dept. of National Parks and Wildlife(DNPW) and are proud of our record of arrests with convictions in the sector. Our team confiscates weapons, poaching gear, snares and other dangerous items that are documented and turned over to authorities for destruction. AND as mentioned in our newsletter opening commentary, we JUST had two major sting operations netting a major ivory poacher! The tip offs were by community members showing their trust in our keeping confidences. We are currently stationed at Milyote Gate with the DNPW ranger team. The gate is an important location as it leads into South Luangwa National Park. The great news is that since Nsefu Wildlife’s inception, poaching has DECREASED in the Game Management Area and in the park!! Our teammate Andre Gascoigne (ex-Marine Infantry) has dedicated his time and efforts to help support Nsefu programs and recently completed a month long training and procedure plan with our team. Working closely with our rangers (along with DNPW rangers) Andre worked step by step going through all ranger operations, initiating proper procedure plans in operations and in inventory. He is supervising all operations and works closely with our lead and asst. rangers. Also, the rangers desperately need a good used 4wd Toyota Land Cruiser. It is hard to properly convey how impossible the roads (or lack thereof) are in our sector. Needless to say, vehicles are punished and even though we take care of them to the best of our abilities…they only have a limited life. We URGENTLY need another vehicle.
Also, Senior Chief Nsefu (who is Zambian Royalty) is exceptionally pleased with Nsefu Wildlife and it’s work in his sector. Last year he granted us approximately 15 acres of land for our future compound. And this year he granted us 3 more parcels of land…one for a self-contained ranger station near Milyote Gate (the entrance into South Luangwa National Park) and two for “fly camps” where our rangers can maintain a low profile set up in known poaching areas. It is a great honor to have the endorsement of Senior Chief Nsefu and we are grateful.
Lastly, thank you to Robert Nelson, Tony Flores, and Kent Matthews for giving our rangers some fresh new attire making them look sharp while doing great things in the bush!!! Thank you for your donations gentlemen! And a special “THANK YOU” to Andre Gascoigne…our Nsefu Wildlife Super Hero!
WISHLIST FOR NSEFU WILDLIFE RANGER TEAM – (1) Good used 4wd Toyota Land Cruiser US $30,000, funding for extra camping gear and tools required to run two teams full-time for short and long-term patrols US $3000, funding for fuel US $1500.
CHABWERA SCHOOL PROGRAM AND DISTRICT SCHOOLS
Friends, the Chabwera School we built has been doing gangbusters!!! Honestly, it is AMAZING what this school has done in the past two years! A school originally built for 60 children now serves 200+ children with 4 morning classes and 2 afternoon classes! In 2 years we have grown so much that we desperately need two more classrooms and a teacher’s room! Our teaching staff and volunteer teachers are doing a superior job with the kids, and they are winning multiple awards in the school district! Our school is also outperforming the sector test scores by 7%, coming in at a whopping 92%!! And we are proud to have the curriculum include wildlife conservation education, which has been of great interest to the school district. We couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of all involved.
WISHLIST FOR CHABWERA – funding for 2 large classrooms + teachers and headmaster room plus + toilets US $25,000 (this figure is based on government requirements of materials, construction, etc.) Nsefu Wildlife was recently approached by the school district for a couple of reasons. 1) to learn more about our education strategy and our performance achievements, and 2) we were asked to do a needs assessment for the schools in the district. There are 9 schools in the sector known as Zone A and the needs are IMMENSE. Again, the Nsefu Sector is one of the poorest areas in Zambia. Many of these schools are mud huts with teachers who receive no pay or little pay. These schools need classrooms built, toilets for children and teachers, some need bore holes for water, computers, teaching aids, and the basic supplies of books, paper, writing utensils etc. Zambians, like all Africans, HIGHLY value education and the parents fully support the schools in any way they can. Any investment in education in our district will be greeted with immense gratitude, success in education, and with the beautiful smiles of the kids. Working with these children fills me with love and wonder and I can’t express how much it would mean to all of us if our supporters reached out to help. And a special thank you to our Team Member Enrico Carretta who graciously shares his extensive nonprofit experience and guides us with a steady hand to execute everything to the best of our abilities. We are lucky to have him on Team Nsefu!
Team Member Steve Zulu has been doing an amazing job representing Nsefu Wildlife in the community and he is currently signing up schools to participate in our Jr. Rangers Conservation Clubs. We have SIX schools signed up already and the kids are fired up to participate. We will have monthly challenges for them and at the end of the year, one club can win the Grand Prize of $250 for their club, school, and for a celebration of a job well done! We thank Steve and Enrico for doing such a great job working with the Dept. Of Education in the Sector.
Also, we have teamed up with our partners Zikomo Safari in giving 2 monthly game drives for children selected from different schools where they get to learn firsthand about the beauty and importance of their wildlife! They are treated to a fun day exploring the South Luangwa National Park (many children have never been in any park) and are treated to a delicious lunch at Zikomo. The program is a big hit with both children and their teachers!
Our EXCELLENT team members Ephraim Mbewe, Enrico Carretta, and Steve Zulu have worked incredibly hard and are running an excellent program on behalf of Nsefu Wildlife.
And MEGA thanks to our good friends at Tellico Village Computer Club, Pandora Vreeland, and Ben Protas and Danny Donnelly of Five Star Communications for the wonderful new and refurbished computers, notebooks, and tablets! You have made so many people truly happy with your generosity!
What can we say about the Nsefu Wildlife Women’s Sewing Program…other than it is a smash hit! After putting out the word to the community that we had 6 positions open for women to learn sewing…137 women showed up and we got our first 6 trainees after careful interviewing. And the great news is that these wonderful ladies have completed their course and are capable of sewing at a level where they can sell their creations and “hopefully” join our vision of having a little “sewing” business in order to raise funds for our programs and help teach sewing to many other women in the community! This enables women to earn an income to help support themselves and their families. It also builds a spirit of confidence and independence and it is another tool in conservation in that the villagers will turn less and less to illegal hunting when they have a more stable economic existence. Our team member Evans Graph is doing an amazing job with the women and we have many videos and pictures of the elated women singing with joy… happy with their opportunities for the future. It is simply magical spending time with Graph and these lovely ladies.
We are hoping to obtain 7 more treadle machines for our program ($250/each) and we have HOPE that our sewing building will be connected to power soon. We have been waiting for a couple of years, but there is a power pole now right next to our building!! Graph is also personally donating some electric sewing machines once that happens. Fingers Crossed!!
Projects coming soon include our project to raise funds for material in order to sew school uniforms for the children of our supported school…Chabwera. That will be an order of 200 uniforms! We also want to have the women sew sashes for the Junior Ranger Conservation Club members in order to display their badges of achievement. We are hoping to become a major source for school uniforms in the sector…but baby steps for now!
A super big “THANK YOU” to our Sewing Program supporters, Adrienne Schroder, Jan Dickieson, Lisa Bishop and Pauline and Jim Benson. Thank you for donating funds and materials for our sewing program. We are grateful for your support.
“Rising from the ashes” is our theme for our beekeeping report. Our original beehive fence line was tragically burned down by the traditional Zambian burns that happen all over the country. Zambia has hundreds of fires burning at any time during the dry season as it is believed this is the best way to replenish vegetation. It is also used as a tool to clear land to be able to see approaching wildlife, and as we know human/animal conflict is a REAL problem, especially with elephants. And unfortunately the elephant usually loses…thus the impetus for the program. Our beekeeping program serves two purposes. 1) It offers an opportunity for locals to harvest honey and sell for income. 2) It is an excellent tool to stem human/animal conflict in that most wildlife, especially elephants, are deathly afraid of bees.
The good news is that our team member Andre Gascoigne has not only revived the program, but has improved it dramatically with the addition of the local “bee whisperer” in the region, Mr. Chomi, and he has gotten the approval of 4 Village Headmen to oversee the program in that they are now stakeholders. These members will maintain the wellbeing for the fencing and hives and keep a safe clearance around the fencing to stem any further disasters. We are going to be introducing fast growing trees into the mix for eco purposes to serve as “poles” instead of adding to the deforestation of the region. The upside of our beekeeping is huge and we thank Andre for once again sharing his time, commitment, and passion for our work. And thank you to wonderful Team Member Ephraim Mbewe for his commitment to oversee the future of beekeeping and other eco-friendly income-producing projects.
In conclusion, we thank YOU! We thank each and every one of our most valued supporters. Yes, our needs are immense right now as we grow and try to fulfill all the needs to run an exceptional program, but be very proud of yourselves because in 4 ½ years, you have helped Nsefu Wildlife become a legitimate force of good in Zambia. Poaching is DOWN in the region, people are working with an incredible sense of pride being associated with Nsefu Wildlife with many individuals wanting to be a part of our team! We have the continued blessings of Senior Chief Nsefu, and we have happy, committed Nsefu Wildlife teammates who are working hard to protect the wildlife and the people of Zambia. Team Nsefu even MET the son of the Zambian President, Daliso Lungu, in which we conveyed our commitment to support Zambia and help protect it’s wildlife. Many other organizations have shared their amazement on how much the community is BEHIND our work, even more so than other very-established organizations in the region. This makes us incredibly proud, but there is no way it could happen without YOU.
Please keep your Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation in mind when you donate, plan your estate, when you share your passion for wildlife with others, and spreading the word where and when you can. We are also available if you have speaking engagements! We would love to share Nsefu Wildlife with others. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and please pray for the safety of our brave rangers.
Our deepest gratitude,
Coe, Victory, and the entire Team Nsefu