At first blush it didn’t look like much until I began listing all the ways you helped people saving wildlife.
Who’d have guessed six years ago as Russ and I sat enthralled watching Shannon’s birds of prey and sadly learning how their numbers where dwindling that we’d be so caught up in the movement? The movement to get involved and help.
Like for most, it took some time to figure out our place. However, as we look back since the founding of Nikela in 2010 the basic drive, mission if you will, hasn’t changed. Nikela began with the vision of helping people saving wildlife. Helping the little guys doing good for wildlife, one animal or bird at a time. Providing a way for people like you who care, living anywhere in the world, to make a difference making that monthly donation really effective. How, by giving 100% of your gift to help people saving wildlife.
How you helped people saving wildlife in 2015
At first it didn’t seem like we all did that much good for people saving wildlife, but then I began making a list…
The year began with rewarding a bunch of less fortunate students who dance to save rhino. We gave them T-shirts. Sheila (founder and owner of Dance to be Wild) told us that an item of clothing is a huge reward and appreciated by the child and the parent. So we were pleased to thank them for being ambassadors for the rhino. (This year we will be attending their annual dance competition and plan on giving them another token of gratitude for their commitment to help save the rhino.)
“Can you please help?” and we did. It was an orphaned baboon that was the final straw for Baye Pigors. It was time to open a wildlife rescue and rehab center in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Not even in her mid-twenties and she’s taken on the burocratic, political, fiscal and logistical challenges of a nonprofit! So when Baye reached out for help to secure her property we couldn’t help but get involved and support such tenacity and drive. In November we visited her and toured her center and were not disappointed. (This year we will pick a specific project to assist her Free to be Wild center.)
Early in the year I’d met Marnus with Walking for Lions in Johannesburg. I was intrigued by his dedication and love for lions and the struggles he faced and overcame to protect them from being poisoned and shot by irate farmers in Botswana. Mid-year we ran a campaign to assist. In October we spent a morning with Marnus in the bush and learned first-hand the challenges and opportunities for doing good there are. (This year supporting Marnus and his work saving lions with lights will be one of our major thrusts.)
Several years back the Bearded Lady was rescued from life in a chicken coop. At that time we assisted in the building of a very nice enclosure for her at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary. Each time we are in Africa we visit the Bearded who has made great progress although she hasn’t learned to fly. Such a pity, she is a gorgeous bird. In 2015 we assisted with her care.
In late 2010 thirty high school students and their teacher, who’d never seen any wild animals or birds, went to experience Shannon’s flight show. This October we again sponsored the same teacher’s Enviro Club students to visit the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary. As this field trip was reportedly successful in sensitizing these students to raptors and their role in the world we may make this an annual event.
In a small rural community not far from a beautiful waterfall is FreeMeKZN, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center. We were introduced to Roz the director a few years back and make it a point of visiting when we’re in the area. Each time there are different wild animals and birds in the center and Roz tells us the release stories. Of course we love the successful ones and are saddened by the few that didn’t work out. This past year we provided, bedding, feed and supplies for the resident wildlife.
Late November and December are the super busy months for Silke and her team at Bambelela. It’s the time of year they receive tiny orphaned vervet monkey in various conditions of health. Some have been injured while others are starving, but they all need care and tenderness to survive. This year we adopted one of these orphans who will be nurtured, introduced to a troop and eventually released for a second chance at being wild. (This year we plan to sponsor the release of a vervet monkey troop.)
Plans for 2016
As before the main reason we travel Africa is to find those doing good for wildlife. Not the big organization, but the little guys who appreciate and can benefit from help with smaller projects.
It can be almost overwhelming looking ahead! There is so much need, so much more we could do. That’s the main reason why Russ and I decided to shed some of our privacy and invite you into our lives, work and travels (via videos) in hopes of raising more awareness and more funds.
Right now there are two projects that we have committed to with your help…
Funds permitting there are other projects on the ‘wish list’. They involve the Bearded Vulture, the Pangolin and assisting wildlife rescue rehab work.
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