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An Amazing Gift

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In January, 2016 I was alerted to the below question on Quora.com. My answer follows.

Screenshot (336)

Answer by Lisa Groeneweg

*Edit Nov. 2016. – Everyone at Chengeta Wildlife thanks Brent Noorda for the donation of $100,000! We will use it well. Thanks to Leonid S. Knyshov for the A2A and thanks to everyone who voted for Chengeta. Brent went strictly by the upvotes so you made this happen for Chengeta! Go team!


Our nonprofit is a perfect example of democratic philanthropy! It was created and is run by scrappy volunteers from all over the world who saw a problem, created a solution and put it into action.

In November 2013, I read a Quora answer that ripped at my heart. It was Rory Young’s answer about elephant graveyards and poachers poisoning a watering hole and killing hundreds of elephants and many other species of wildlife. After learning more about the explosion of wildlife poaching across Africa, I sent Rory a message asking what I could do to help his efforts against this slaughter.

We discussed what was needed and many Quora friends and fans of Rory joined our cause immediately. Volunteers created our logo and other graphics, drafted by-laws, built a website, designed infographics, donated artwork, created fundraising videos, installed a board of directors, held bake sales and so much more. You can read about our efforts on our first blog, Quorans For A Cause. We quickly began to raise funds to get the necessary anti-poaching training to Park Rangers who protect wildlife – Rory’s specialty. In our short history we have raised over $132k together! At the start some doubters thought raising $5k would be a stretch – hah! :)

On February 25th, 2014, Rory and I officially co-founded Chengeta Wildlife, a non-profit based in my home state of Iowa. In the Shona language Chengeta means “to look after or take care of.”

The problem.

  1. Two rangers are killed each week in the line of duty. These men and women are usually extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the parks, but now as the last line of defense between their ecological heritage and heavily armed poachers, they also need the skills and knowledge necessary to safely arrest heavily armed criminals.
  2. Armed militias and international crime syndicates have become heavily involved in trafficking wildlife products, attracted by the relatively easy money to be made. Rhino horn has a higher street value than gold or cocaine.
  3. Currently an elephant is killed every 15 minutes and a rhino every 8 hours. Experts caution that these keystone species will become extinct in the wild within 10 years if the killing continues at the current rate!
  4. Stripping the land of critical wildlife is devastating to the environment.

A light at the end of the tunnel?

  1. The world is becoming aware of the poaching catastrophe.
  2. The main markets for poached ivory and rhino horn are becoming educated about the blood price that is paid for their ivory trinkets. Billions of dollars have been spent on advertising this information in China. Demand has reportedly fallen a bit.
  3. We must protect the remaining wildlife (and rangers) until this madness is controlled.

We have a scalable solution.

  1. Our proven successful anti-poaching ranger training program is in high demand because it works!
  2. During live operations in Nkhotakota, a protected area in Malawi, our trained rangers under Rory’s guidance, arrested 81 poachers in just 12 days!
  3. The arrests continue after our trainers leave because the rangers have learned everything needed to continue planning and executing successful operations.
  4. The rangers don’t require drones or other expensive equipment to be successful. We give them all they need to achieve success using their most powerful weapon; their brain!
  5. We select the best and brightest rangers to receive additional education so they become the next anti-poaching trainers for their department making our program self sustaining. We create no dependence upon our organization.

Our training has been implemented in four countries so far with many more asking for our help. We have trained United Nations rangers in Guinea. A portion of that training was underwritten by the European Union. In fact, as I write this, Rory is training another group of UN rangers in Guinea.

Chengeta Wildlife is staffed by volunteers. So far all overhead expenses have been covered by board members so 100% of public donations go directly to the ranger training program! Our work has been supported by donations made by individuals from over 26 countries! We are extremely frugal with our limited funds. We wring every last bit of good from each penny donated.

Your support would mean everything to many passionate people who are giving this fight their all, especially Rory and the other brave rangers who are risking their very lives.

LisaAn Amazing Gift
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New Video

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I’m loading some of Rory Young’s video clips from our past training sessions. He may use some of these when he does his INBOUND15 interview/presentation in Boston next month. That event is not open to the public.

We are planning an event for any Chengeta Wildlife supporters who would like to meet Rory. We don’t have the details finalized, but it will probably be on Thursday, September 10th late afternoon or evening or sometime on Friday.

Since Chengeta supporters helped make these training sessions and videos possible I think we deserve the first peek at the videos.

The first one I’m sharing shows Rory and the Malawi rangers searching buildings after an undercover officer gained information about a poacher with a hidden weapon that could be used to kill large animals like elephants or rhinos. The best time to do this type of operation is when most are deeply asleep, around 3 or 4am.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o479Sp3-VHw[/youtube]

LisaNew Video
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Youngs Visit Supporter.

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Written by Bhavesh Aggarwal
So as you know, Rory Young and his family relocated from Zimbabwe, because the government wasn’t too happy with him doing the right thing.

The Youngs happened to be travelling through Switzerland. And whom should they happen to grace with a visit?
That’s right, yours truly.

For the ‘pics, or didn’t happen’ crowd:

No no, he is smiling. Really!

It was a fun forenoon. I got to meet Rory, Marjet (his wife), and their children Astrid and Aidan. We talked together while enjoying a drink. Rory treated me to ice tea. That’s as good a way to buy my friendship as any.

As you might know, I am kinda into fitness. So is Rory, seeing how he needs to be fit as a professional wildlife ranger. We allowed ourselves some shenanigans at the local pull-up bar. (More on that later)

I am super grateful I got to meet this wild bunch, especially the kids. They’re a riot!

It’s okay to laugh. I know I am not photogenic. But aren’t the kids adorable?

chengetawildlife@gmail.comYoungs Visit Supporter.
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Onwards and Upwards!

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My family and I have “been through the wars” lately, so to speak,

and have needed to take a break in order to Screenshot (83)organize our new base in Europe. Thank you everybody for all the support and patience. We are all very grateful for the assistance and kind words that we have received regarding the Zimbabwe Central Intelligence Organizations harrassment and threats, our departure from Zimbabwe, my father’s passing away and the difficulties of changing home, country, continent and language.

“What doesn’t kill fattens” said Nietsche. We are already moving onwards and upwards and I can assure everybody that Marjet and I are more determined than ever to do whatever we can to help save Africa’s wildlife, its wild areas and to harmonize nature and communities.

Knowing that my family are safe and secure in a peaceful and stable country when I am out chasing around poachers is a huge relief to me and will allow me to focus on what needs to be done when I am out there rather than worrying whether they are okay.

There has been so much doom and gloom lately I thought you might appreciate a bit of a laugh… The following video “interview” was done by one of the rangers under my instruction in the middle of ops in a “hot” area which will remain unnamed. We were all exhausted tense and taking a break by having a little laugh on camera. (We have a lot more footage that we are preparing, including a lot of exciting stuff…)

Thank you all again and enjoy!

P.S. If you are struggling to get friends, relatives or neighbours to donate to our fundraiser then please try threats and blackmail!

LisaOnwards and Upwards!
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Big Thanks, Ellen Vrana

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You did wonders and really saved the day for us Ellen, through the very large donation that you and Mike made and through your efforts to gather support for Chengeta.

Here is a small message of thanks and a little surprise for you:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNbiA7_6HZ4[/youtube]

Take care,

Rory

chengetawildlife@gmail.comBig Thanks, Ellen Vrana
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Xerrox Monophaser

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chengetawildlife@gmail.comXerrox Monophaser
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HTML5 Video

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This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what is on your mind.

chengetawildlife@gmail.comHTML5 Video
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Luna

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi.

Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.

Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

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chengetawildlife@gmail.comLuna
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