Our Partners and Friends
GMFER’s campaigns and programs engage multiple excellent organizations and individuals across the globe. Here, we feature a few organizations we work with closely; our collaborative work has made for a rewarding and meaningful journey producing tangible results.
Happy Bruno is a co-founder of the Bwindi Conservation for Generations Foundation, BCGF . BCGF is a registered non-profit in Uganda, its mission is to integrate conservation campaigns with civic enterprises that enrich the lives of humans and sustain the biodiversity of the Rift Valley region.
Happy, his family and his community live amidst the mist-laden mountains adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Carpeted by one of Uganda’s most ancient and most biologically diverse rainforests, the park is home to a full half of earth’s remaining mountain gorillas and a myriad species of fauna and flora. Surprisingly, a small number of elephants, both savannah elephants and forest elephants, inhabit the gorilla highlands.
Tragically, poaching continues in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In 2020, Rafiki, a beloved silverback and the leader of the Nkuringo gorilla family was killed by a poacher hunting for bush pig within the boundaries of the park; a profoundly disorienting experience for Happy and his community.
Happy believes that engaging local communities in meaningful conservation-driven initiatives can lead poachers away from poaching and restore the dignity of both humans and non-humans. GMFER, Happy and BCGF are in the process of finalizing the details for multiple such campaigns; please see “Happy Bruno’s Uganda”
Recently Happy Bruno was elected to the office of councilor (LCIII) for Kashija ward, Rubuguri Town Council, Kisoro District. #GMFER is unabashedly pleased with the outcome.
The Omysha Foundation through its VONG (Voice Of New Generation) Movement gives the new generation opportunities and a platform where these youngsters can develop a deeper understanding of global social and environmental issues, and influence the strategies of our global institutions.
Through their project on endangered animals, VONG hopes to create a community of thoughtful and action oriented people who stand up for the following critical demands:
- All elephants in all nations should be included in IUCN Appendix I.
- No trade in rhino horn. Calls to legalize rhino trade could negatively impact the numbers of rhinos in the wild and encourage poaching.
- No live capture and trade of wild animals to zoos.
- Use of pangolins in traditional medicines should be banned by CITES.
Mizu Eco-care is one of the most effective environmental conservation organizations based in Zambia. Their mission: Protecting the Environment and Enriching Human Life through Agency
Timothy Phiri is the director of Mizu Eco-care and serves on GMFER’s board. Timothy is known affectionately as “TK” to his friends. In the spring of 2023, with GMFER’s help, TK and his team documented the plastic pollution along the Ngwerere stream in Zambia.
Originating in the capital city of Lusaka, the Ngwerere is one of two tributaries of the Chongwe River. Water from the Ngwerere underpins local economies and ecologies, making the stream socially and environmentally significant. The Ngwerere feeds the Chongwe, the Chongwe river drains into the mighty Zambezi which meets the vast slate of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique.
The Ngwerere has experienced plastic pollution for over a decade. Mounds of garbage inhibit the tributary’s waters from reaching the Chongwe dam; the water itself is undrinkable. In response to the extent of contamination, GMFER and Mizu Eco-care envisioned and organized a collaborative project to clean-up the Ngwerere. The pilot event for the project took place on World Environment Day, June 5, 2023.
The pilot cleanup project was a joint effort engaging many enthusiastic volunteers, college students, the Chongwe Municipal Council, the Lusaka City Council, and the Honorable Collins Nzovu, Zambian Minister for Green Economy and the Environment.
Cleanup of the Ngwerere stream continued in several phases across the remaining months of 2023.
Mizu Eco-care and GMFER plan to broaden the scope of the project, extending the initiative to Beat Plastic Pollution in other tributaries and rivers of Zambia. The effort will demand substantial funding; grant proposals are currently being developed.
Founded by the Tanglewood Foundation, Koru Camp is situated in the Limpopo province of South Africa and tucked between ‘Balule and Klaserie’ game reserves. Koru is part of the Greater Kruger Biosphere.
From Koru’s website:
Koru Camp offers “Immersive ‘overnight’ camping experiences in the wild environment for our South African communities.”
“We cannot expect the community to love and embrace the wildlife and natural places if they are excluded from them.”Peter Eastwood – Founder
Koru’s philosophy centers on meaningful experiences in nature. The tented camp boasts large safari vehicles, excellent guides, and wonderful, healthy food. Conservation-themed workshops, engaging games for children, long, enriching game-drives and a dedication to reintroduce communities to Africa’s wild world drives Koru’s ethos.
The children experience an immersive wilderness adventure, gaining a deeper understanding of Africa’s wild world. The 2–3-night campout features multiple workshops centered on conservation and community. Each campout is themed to amplify the uniqueness, vulnerability and ecological significance of a specific species or a phenomenon that has global impact such as climate change or plastic pollution. The Mambas and their children participate in four game-drives, at the dawn and dusk of each day. The children experience an immersive wilderness adventure, gaining a deeper understanding of Africa’s wild world through the workshops, the game-drives and the many conservation-themed wilderness-games. The youthful group has a great deal of fun at KORU Camp.
GMFER is grateful to Koru Camp for the generosity and enthusiasm that make ‘Mambas in the Park’ a life-changing experience for the indigenous communities of Limpopo.
The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is the first all-female, all-indigenous anti-poaching unit in the world.
The all-women Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit patrols the boundaries of the Balule Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger region in South Africa, home to some of Africa’s most iconic and endangered wildlife. Since their founding in 2013, the Mambas have achieved a 63% reduction in poaching incidents in their area of operation. Snaring, one of the worst threats to animals within the park, was drastically reduced almost overnight by their presence.
The award-winning Mambas are a success story on many levels. Patrolling unarmed, they have reduced animosity in surrounding communities by decreasing the Park’s reliance on armed guards. Much of the poaching problem in Kruger National Park comes from within these communities. The creation of the park itself in 1926 involved displacing indigenous people, many of whose descendants now live in the surrounding towns and feel little connection to Kruger and its wildlife. The Mambas serve as ambassadors to the schools within the towns, fostering greater understanding and engagement among the youngest community members. Many of these youngsters, including the children of the Black Mambas themselves, have never seen the iconic wildlife the Mambas protect.
GMFER works with the Black Mamba Anti Poaching Unit to disrupt the prevailing paradigm; one that keeps indigenous women and children estranged from Africa’s wild world and its wild heritage. For more about our alliance and collaborative work, please refer to “Mambas in the Park”.
Transfrontier Africa was founded in 2007 by legendary conservationist Craig Spencer and remains a premier research and community-driven conservation organization in rural South Africa. Transfrontier Africa is the parent organization to the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit.
Transfrontier Africa is a South African NPO situated in Balule Nature Reserve. This groundbreaking organization is engaged in multiple conservation, community, and research centered projects within and outside Balule. Transfrontier Africa founded the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit in 2013. GMFER is privileged and pleased to support the good work of Transfrontier Africa through our joint program with the Black Mambas.
The Wild Olive Tree Camp, is a community-run bush camp situated at the border of Kruger National Park within the lush and abundant Manyeleti Game Reserve.
“Whilst the elders are telling their stories around the campfire, you can hear the distant bells of the cattle returning home. This signals the end of the day. The night then awakens with the hyena calling and the King of Manyeleti, the lion starts roaring; telling you that the wilderness is alive.” The Wild Olive Tree Camp
GMFER is pleased and privileged to work in collaboration with the Wild Olive Tree Camp in Manyeleti to host “Mambas in the Park”. Mambas in the Park is a ~monthly event that dismantles historic conservation paradigms and amplifies the agency of indigenous voices in the conversation about conservation.
The Wild Olive Tree Camp (WOTC) is unique in that it is owned and operated -entirely- by the Mnisi community, a community with ancient ties to the land. Historically, the Mnisi were a hunter-gather community and sustained themselves predominantly through cattle farming.
Solar powered tent facilities, a dining area located on a dry-river bed, a lovely pool for swimming, warm and friendly staff and surroundings teeming with bird life in dense bush, all complete the picture of rustic eloquence at WOTC.
Visitors and guests to WOTC experience a different Africa, one that invokes stories of old and reimagines a different future for the wild children of Africa. A future that lives at the intersection of the old and the new, welcoming the voices of the indigenous on behalf of the survival of Africa’s wild heritage.
GMFER is grateful to WOTC for its willingness and enthusiasm in working with us to make “Mambas in the Park” a reality.
GMFER is grateful for Nourish’s work at the intersection of community empowerment and conservation.
Nourish Eco Village is situated close to Kruger National Park in Limpopo, South Africa. Nourish focuses on unique and sustainable projects linking communities to conservation.
From Nourish’s webpage, we quote:
“Nourish is a Non Profit Organisation registered with the Department of Social Development in South Africa. Started by a local girl in 2011, Nourish was created to be a platform that could link conservation needs, issues and ideals with community issues and ideals. Nourish aims at finding integrated sustainable solutions to conservation issues such as poverty, low education standards, lack of food security, and unemployment.
Finding solutions that break the poverty cycle and create healthy resilient communities are ultimately solutions that link these individuals and communities back to their wildlife heritage and the jobs/opportunities created in the wildlife and tourism economy.
Nourish focuses on sustainable projects linking communities to conservation in a unique holistic buffer zone model. The pillars below outline our broad project scope:
GMFER’s collaborative work with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit engages indigenous women and their children in dynamic experiences aimed at enriching the lives of the lady Mambas and their families. Nourish supports GMFER’s work by permitting the use of Nourish facilities for “Mambas in the Park”. GMFER is cognizant of Nourish’s call to dig deeper into the philosophical underpinnings nurturing the successes in the evolving story about Africa’s wild heritage. GMFER believes that our collective work to protect wild creatures and places is amplified through a richer and more compassionate conversation about conservation; one that creates agency for humans who live with and adjacent to earth’s last iconic wild animals.
Magical jewel: from garbage dump to a vibrant green mini forest.
Note: GMFER’s involvement with this project has ended, the project is now sustained and maintained by local stakeholders and local interests, a win-win for all.
The idea to turn a garbage dump into a thriving mini-forest was formed by Samarrth Khanna, a young conservationist and a university student, who is keenly interested in re-wilding urban spaces and safeguarding ecosystems. Between the years of 2017-2020 and with the support of GMFER, Samarrth and his dedicated crew converted a wasteland into a habitat suitable for ‘city-wildlife’ in Faridabad.
When Samarrth walked by an informal landfill in Faridabad in 2017; he observed mounds of garbage and plastic waste strewn over several acres. The sight filled him with sadness, and he was determined to remedy the situation.
Samarrth gathered a small group of students together and organized weekly ‘cleanup drives’. With GMFER’s help, a total of 3500 kilograms of waste was cleared. After the waste was removed, the alliance of students together with Samarrth, adopted the land; an abandoned section in the middle of the city that had highly polluted soil, negligible vegetation and no signs of life.
Following the installation of an irrigation system and thousands of hours of dedication and hard work over a two-year period, this barren wasteland evolved into a vibrant green landscape sustaining life.
The Mini-Forest is now replete with multiple bionetworks, representing diverse habitats and ecosystems; grasslands, a native deciduous forest and a wetland are some of these. It is now a self-sufficient and self-sustaining entity supported by local interests and stakeholders.
GMFER is pleased to have worked with the Mini-Forest in the past and privileged to call the organization a friend.
GMFER worked with HALO in the past. We wish the organization great success.
Hoedspruit Animal Outreach, is a South Africa NPO working to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of domesticated animals in rural communities surrounding Hoedspruit.
Impoverished communities surround Hoedspruit, South Africa’s wildlife haven. Most are entirely overlooked in the context of veterinary services. HALO’s team of volunteers visits four rural communities each month; in all the communities HALO visits, community owners struggle to provide adequate care for their animals. HALO offers free medical care, education on animal welfare and conducts a sterilization program to prevent the spread of diseases and unwanted litters. Following the outreach program, sick or injured animals are taken to HALO’s new holding facility (the HALO camp) at NOURISH Eco-Village. GMFER is delighted to have sponsored one of HALO’s camps: the Green Camp.
GMFER supports the work of HALO and actively collaborates with HALO’s education and outreach coordinator, Sam Keegan on “Wild Kindness” workshops that underline and amplify compassion and kindness for the non-human. At present these workshops are limited to the children of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit living in communities surrounding Hoedspruit; the gatherings aim to encourage children to expand their empathy for domesticated animals to the wild creatures inhabiting Africa’s last wild places.
HALO’s ‘camp dogs’ feature as ambassadors for ‘Wild Kindness” at our creative and enriching workshops.
HALO plans to implement similar workshops -on a wider scale- in collaboration with interested local and international organizations when resources become available. Children from local communities will be invited to participate in these workshops and visit HALO’s camp. Caring for and being responsible for a non-human animal can play a significant role in a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Additionally, the experience may support the development of essential human qualities, namely empathy, and compassion.
Stay in the know.
Be ready to act.
To keep up to date with our latest news, events, marches,
campaigns and fundraising activities.