Our MissionOur mission is to ignite the spark of artistic creativity in African children, help them foster a love and respect for animals and empower them to change the future of African wildlife. One of our early donors said," Each spark of creativity adds to the collective light of the world". It's our goal to ignite that creative spark in a place where the twilight of survival has been the only light these children have known.
One of the scarcest commodities in Africa today is education. Teachers are few and teaching materials are lacking. Although some of the oldest art in existence is found in the caves of Africa, African children have very little exposure to creativity and arts. Through our programs, hundreds of children receive the art supplies, guidance and exposure to art they need to learn the value of creativity and the significance it can play in their lives.
Our Arts for Animals program connects two-dimensional artists, theatrical artists, musical artists and sculptors from all over the planet with rural African schools. As the students become involved with the artwork, the artists encourage students to become more creative and,at the same time,more appreciative of their own environment. Both American and African artists have joined our program to help expose African kids to new and different forms of art. We use this excitement and exposure to new art forms and creativity to create enthusiasm and energy for spreading wildlife stewardship messages, which are taught at the same time.
By involving thousands of African children in our Animal Protector campaign, we can help stop wildlife poaching in the future. Africans who learn as children the value of animals to their own heritage and future will be much more likely to join and support wildlife park managers and government efforts to report and stop poachers and the killing of their wildlife.
Along with showing children how art can enrich their lives, the art these children create can be used to make and sell notecards and other items to raise funds for the program and scholarships. We are creating more outlets for these cards and, through them, generate more support and interest for our groundbreaking programs. Our scholarships help create the future artists and leaders of African wildlife conservation.
Our Computers for Kids campaign is opening doors to the vast educational resources of the worldwide web. The program donates refurbished laptop computers and facilitates Internet connectivity to primitive, rural schools. We hope to connect African students to American artists and students so both groups can learn from each other and better understand their relationship with the planet's wildlife.
As technology evolves, it has become easier for students across the planet to be better connected and share their experiences. We are actually living in a time when almost any American can, through the donation of $350 for a rebuilt laptop, help African kids to connect with the outside world for the first time.
Using a program which links major computer manufacturers with nonprofits like our own. We aim to link artists, mentors and classrooms in the United States with children in Africa to expose both sides to the everyday lives and concerns of their peers on opposite sides of the world. These laptops can enable individual artists and art schools globally to help and mentor talented African students who would otherwise have no formal creative guidance, artistic support or experienced mentors.
Each $350 donation buys another laptop computer that can connect dozens of children in rural areas with the world.
By using Skype, for instance, any artist anywhere in the world can mentor a talented African child. This can have a huge impact on African children and move them toward a successful, creative and conservation-oriented future.This educational" building block" is a critical component to educating African children about the importance of their wildlife their future and the future of this planet.
Creating a Culture of Wildlife ProtectorsAfter taking a pledge to protect and defend Africa's animals, local children become "Wildlife Protectors".
Each protector wears a blue silicone band to show their dedication to defending their local wildlife. The bright blue bands,which glow in the dark, say, "I protect animals," and, "Our Wildlife-My Heritage-My Future."
Learning about the important role wildlife can play in their future and taking a pledge to protect animals empowers the next generation of Africans, who can then encourage their friends and families to also appreciate and defend their local animals. In 2014, around 500 children became Wildlife Protectors,in 2015- 2,000 more children pledged to join the campaign and in 2016,over 2500 more kids took the oath to protect their wildlife.
Each year, through our programs at the Wildlife Center ,Children in The Wilderness "Eco Camps", and at The Painted Dog Bush camp for kids, well over 3000 children join the growing number of African kids committed to protecting their most important resource- their wildlife!
Our goal is to have tens of thousands of Wildlife Protectors growing up in Africa and, through these individuals, change public attitudes toward poaching and wildlife conservation.
This program is being incorporated into other, ongoing programs to add a new,inspiring and exciting element to conservation education in Africa.