Instagram – April 14th, 2020
Conservation, and conservation successes, are often built on a foundation of education and many of our partners across Africa put considerable energy and funds into community support and education alongside wildlife protection.
It might not be as sexy or as widely funded, but now more than ever, education is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 across Africa’s vulnerable communities.
Thank you to @biglifeafrica and so many others on the ground who are tirelessly working to protect the continent from this horrible disease.
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FIGHTING AN INVISIBLE ENEMY
Big Life rangers are used to unseen danger, whether it’s tracking armed poachers or unexpected encounters with wild animals. But a virus is a different kind of enemy, and needs a different kind of approach.
Big Life’s conservation success over the years has been built on an honest and open relationship with local communities, ensuring that the needs of humans are treated with the same importance as wildlife conservation. It’s the core of our ethos: if conservation supports the people, then people will support conservation.
Local employment for community rangers is a big part of this support, but it goes much further. It’s also about providing education and healthcare. So if it seems odd that we facilitate mobile health clinics, it shouldn’t.
It is still very early days of #COVID19 in our ecosystem and in Kenya, but the odds are high that it’s more widespread than we know. Recent curfew orders have limited travel to and from hotspot areas, but there was a lot of human movement before these restrictions went into effect.
To help curb the spread in our community, our already established Community Health Volunteers (CHV’s) are educating people on how the virus spreads, how to prevent it, and why staying home is so essential. These volunteers are a trusted resource, who typically work in the community to distribute information about many important health issues, such as family planning.
Thank you to @CHASE_Africa_ and the Leila and Mickey Straus Family Foundation for the support.