Earlier this month, I announced that I am adding Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust to the beneficiaries of my Conservation Fund. I believe strongly in their work for the future of conservation in this wonderful area.

They recently produced their 20th Chipembele Annual Report, with the following introduction from their Founders:

Dear Supporter,

In 2018 we celebrated Chipembele’s 20th year of operation. We’ve come far! It all began back in 1998 when Steve and I camped in a small tent on the banks of the Luangwa River and dreamed of establishing a conservation education centre for the local school children. Fortunately, the late Chief Kakumbi believed in our vision and gave us the land on which to establish the project. Fast forwarding twenty years, Chipembele has grown considerably and now also operates from a small campus in the grounds of Mfuwe Secondary School, which has become the hub of the organisation and puts our work right in the heart of the local community. For the first 10 years I ran everything, and was ‘chief cook and bottle washer’, but we now employ 15 staff and our highly motivated Education Team teaches in 18 schools across the greater Mfuwe area. We also lead conservation sessions in hundreds of community groups each year. In addition, Chipembele has been the recipient of 5 international awards.

Running a charitable education organisation in remote rural African community is not easy, but it is extremely rewarding. Looking back over the last 20 years my most prominent memories are of the thousands of students who have participated in our Conservation Clubs. There have been so many shining personalities and passionate conservationists. They have helped to keep the programmes vibrant and dynamic. Many of them have gone on to study or take up careers in biological sciences, vet nursing, forestry, eco-tourism, wildlife film making, environmental journalism, natural resource management or wildlife research. In doing so they have become Zambia’s young conservation leaders and that is everything we hoped for.

I feel a great sense of pride when I read in publications or hear people say that Chipembele is one of the best conservation education programmes in the country. If that accolade is true then it is only because our dedicated staff and Board of Trustees, our committed and passionate students and our kind and generous supporters have provided the rock steady foundations necessary in an organisation to be able to achieve it. We are enormously grateful to you all.

We now look forward to the next 20 years of conservation education in South Luangwa for the benefit of people, wildlife and habitats and hope you will join us on the exciting journey.

Zikomo kwambili! (Thank you very much!)

Anna and Steve, Co-founding Directors

Their report is well worth a read; while doing so, consider the incredible diversity and reach of their projects, all achieved with a relatively modest budget, certainly compared with many international NGOs. Their work is impressive!

If you would like to support their work, you can be sure that it will make a lasting impact, as education always does.

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe in south luangwa national park.

Learning about camera traps with Zambia Carnivore Programme Researcher Thandiwe Mweetwa, a Chipembele student who has become a leading conservation expert in Zambia.