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IMPACTONAFRICA

 

During the 27+ years we have designed and conducted African wildlife viewing safaris, we have met a number of people in Africa who have had a positive impact on the lives of others. These extraordinary people face significant challenges in their dedicated efforts that focus on the needs of the local communities or on the wildlife of the regions visited.

IMPACTONAFRICA is part of our commitment to help them succeed - a selection of local programs in Africa with a successful track records of accomplishment. A portion of the proceeds from each of our safaris is set aside to support these IMPACTONAFRICA initiatives.

Our travelers are offered the opportunity to meet some of these dedicated people and learn about the IMPACTONAFRICA projects that have inspired them. Although we never expect our travelers to help us in these efforts, they often do. We are grateful for the contributions of time, talent and money our travelers have given to help the people and wildlife of Africa.

Swinton Griffith and The Bisate School Project

It all began with a few soccer balls! In the fall of 2008, Swinton Griffith, a junior at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, flew to Nairobi with a black duffle bag loaded with soccer balls. As part of a safari designed by Tom LaRock and Safari Professionals, Swinton shared those soccer balls as he toured schools in Kenya and Rwanda on behalf of the East African Children’s Education Fund (EACEF), a non-profit organization founded by Westminster students. The goal of EACEF is to enhance the educational opportunities in impoverished and underperforming East African schools through facility construction and improvement, educational programming and community empowerment initiatives.

Upon his return to Atlanta, Swinton embarked on an ambitious plan to help the Bisate School in Kinigi, Rwanda. The Bisate School, attended by 1,800 primary and secondary students is located outside Ruhengeri, Rwanda near the Volcanoes National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas. Swinton initiated a partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) to provide infrastructure and programming support to the Bisate School. The Bisate Project was launched as a jointly designed project with all funding for the $250,000 initiative being supplied by EACEF. DFGFI staff, based at the Karisoke Research Center in Ruhengeri, carries out on-site development and oversight of the project.

In May, 2009, EACEF staff members laid the cornerstone for a new six-classroom structure built to UNICEF specifications. In January 2010, the first phase of the Bisate Project was completed at a cost of just over $115,000. On January 14, 2010, the new building was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alecia Lilly, an acclaimed primatologist who ran the African operations of DFGFI. Dr. Lilly worked tirelessly to bring the needs of humans and wildlife closer together and this building will serve as a testament to her legacy and impact on the Bisate community. The structure was named “Umurage” Building, meaning legacy in the Kinya-rwanda language of Rwanda.

The second phase is currently underway and will completely restore and renovate seven additional primary classrooms as well as construct the first library for the Bisate School and its community. Phase 3 will include the construction of a secondary school building. To date Swinton and EACEF have raised $150,000 for the Bisate School.

Tom LaRock's Safari Professionals was pleased to design and conduct the safari for Swinton and his family that is leaving a lasting impact on thousands of children in the Bisate community in Rwanda. To learn more about the Bisate Project and how you may help, please visit www.EACEF.org.

Loldia Primary School

Loldia Ranch is a private farmstead on Lake Naivasha that we often visit while we explore the great Rift Valley Lakes in central Kenya. Several years ago, our host at Loldia, Peter Njoroge, invited us to visit the nearby Loldia Primary School.

The school has more than 1,000 students, ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old. Many of the children walk several miles to and from school, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The government of Kenya introduced free public education in 2003, but did not always provide adequate resources to meet the needs of the increased numbers of students.

We were impressed by the loving commitment of the headmaster and teachers to the education of their students. Their enthusiasm clearly inspires the students, many of whom are the first in their families to go to school.

Our unrestricted donations have been used to supplement the funding the school receives.

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PO Box 25142

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Safari Professionals East Africa

500 Landmark Plaza

Argwings Kodhek Road

Nairobi, Kenya

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383 Vine Avenue

Ferndale, 2194

Gauteng, South Africa

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