Among the Elephants Blog
October 11, 2021
Save the Elephants
MEET JACINTER, a strong, hard-working, single mother-of-three, farmer and inspiration to her community. She lives in a village bordering Tsavo East National Park, where a cluster of subsistence farms have long been threatened by crop-raiding elephants.
Jacinter came to work with the Elephants and Bees Project at Save the Elephants in September 2016. She helped to develop a flourishing permaculture garden for the Kileva Primary school, right next to the Human-Elephant Coexistence research camp in Tsavo.
Buzz boxes, smelly fences and bees
Jacinter used to fear elephants, who would raid her farm and damage her crops. “It was painful”, she said, “because all that hard work was going to waste.” Thanks to your support, her farm is currently protected by a “smelly elephant repellent fence”, an organic elephant deterrent project we have been trialing in collaboration with WildAid Africa.
You’ve heard of the beehive fences but did you know there is now an entire toolbox of human elephant coexistence methods that include buzz boxes (motion triggered speakers that play the sound of swarming bees made by Wild Survivors), community watchtowers and encouraging the planting of non-palatable crops?
Jacinter is just one of many farmers who are now growing drought-resilient crops and using sustainable farming practices that are elephant-friendly. Your support of the HumanElephant Coexistence Programme has the ripple effect of providing alternative sources of income to farmers and more nutritious food for the children in these communities. And that is something you should feel proud of!
Micro-enterprise empowers women
Jacinter is also a member of the Mlambeni Basket Weavers, a microenterprise group of 40 women. In 2020, you and The Wild Lives Foundation made the group’s dream of opening an eco-enterprise centre a reality. The Mlambeni Ndovu Women’s Eco-Enterprise Centre (pictured above), officially opened on International Women’s Day (2021), provides space for the women to weave baskets, sew bags and masks, attend workshops and trainings as well as a shop where they can sell their goods.
Life has not been without its challenges, but this is what Jacinter wants you to know; “I am grateful that for every day the sun rises and sets, my family has something to eat. I can now save and make future plans. I am proud that I can provide for my children more than ever before.”
Want to hear more heartwarming stories like this? Check out the full 2020 Donor Impact Report here.
Top image: Jacinter ©Purity Milgo