Fundraiser newsletter

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From Rory Young in the Field

Image by Nigel Kuhn
I am writing to you from the field. I thought this would be best as this is where Chengeta makes its greatest impact.

That impact has been huge here in Mali. 20 months ago we began training the newly formed combined Malian Army-Ranger Anti Poaching Brigade.

Both soldiers and rangers had to be cross-trained to ensure one effective unit harmonizing personnel from very different backgrounds. Whilst the soldiers would focus primarily on the security, communications and command aspects of the mission, and the rangers on the investigations, community relations and conservation aspects of the mission, in reality, both would have to be trained in each other's tactics, skills and procedures.

 
Image by Nigel Kuhn
We trained the unit in all aspects of anti-poaching and anti-trafficking operations in rural environments. This training included advanced site exploitation, pursuit and interdiction, intelligence gathering and analysis, investigations, community relations, assistance, battle drills, communications, field craft and land navigation. The European Union Training Mission provided battlefield first aid training, and the United Nations provided human rights, use of lethal force, and use of force training.

For the in-operations training, our strategy has been to focus first on deterrence, then build a complete picture of who is poaching and trafficking, where, when, how and why, and finally to intelligently "roll up" the criminal networks.

 
Image by Rory Young
We trained the unit in all aspects of anti-poaching and anti-trafficking operations in rural environments. This training included advanced site exploitation, pursuit and interdiction, intelligence gathering and analysis, investigations, community relations, assistance, battle drills, communications, field craft and land navigation. The European Union Training Mission provided battlefield first aid training, and the United Nations provided human rights, use of lethal force, and use of force training.

For the in-operations training, our strategy has been to focus first on deterrence, then build a complete picture of who is poaching and trafficking, where, when, how and why, and finally to intelligently "roll up" the criminal networks.

 
Image by Nigel Kuhn
After twelve months of training, including six months of training the military elements, the brigade went fully operational. Numerous deterrence, humanitarian assistance and intelligence gathering missions across an area the size of Switzerland have been conducted.

Since the start of operations nine months ago, not a single elephant has been poached.

We have absolutely, together, achieved the impossible.

That would not have been made possible without the dedication of all those both in and out of the field who have contributed. Our work has been funded by donations from individuals from around the world.

We have just launched a crowdfunding campaign. Please support us at http://www.youcaring.com/ChengetaKindArmy so that we can keep going.

Thank you,

Rory

 
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