We have all heard it before: Everyone can make a difference. One person can change the world.And so on.
Are we tired of hearing it? Yes. Do we believe in it? Sure.
Every little bit helps, may be a less daunting way of taking some responsibility – and if you can have fun along the way then that’s something worth considering. The combination of Gin and Elephants may have been just as absurd as trying to change the world, but it was an unbelievable passion for both that started Elephant Gin – and with it an avalanche of work, emotion and yes, difference to saving the African elephant from extinction.
Find out below what Elephant Gin has been able to achieve so far!
The Mavela project in the Lebombo Mountains near Jozini Lake in KwaZulu Natal was originally founded by Space for Elephants Foundation (SEF) who initiated it as part of their drive to create migratory routes for elephants and assist the local communities in creating employment opportunities. SEF secured the property years ago and had always planned to create a community hub and market on the site. Unemployment is rife in the area, which is attractive for poachers in getting information and assistance from the local communities. SEF has realised that even with strong anti-poaching units, community members will assist poachers for a small amount of money where they can. Together with Elephant Gin, the strategy is to get the communities involved by creating employment opportunities and to make locals aware of the value of wildlife by showing them how to earn a living from it. At Mavela, this strategy is coming to fruition as people are taught how to attract tourists and create work for themselves. The poachers nowadays, with SEF’s efforts, find it more difficult to make use of communities to assist them. Elephant Gin has been able to donate close to EUR 50,000 to this project and through the funds, built small units to be used as kitchen, office rooms for local staff, accommodation for guests, a foot path to a viewing point, open air shower overlooking the game reserve, the start of an education facility and a botanical garden. SO much has happened, and of course there is even more to do: we want to finally start teaching local children, rid the whole mountain area of plastic, create more long-term jobs by getting the local community to manage the Reserve just south of Mavela, introduce wildlife including elephants to attract more tourists to the area and get Mavela going as a self-sustaining attractive project entirely run by locals. Poachers from the area may finally realise that a wild elephant is worth a hundred times more than a dead one. They will hopefully realise that when they plant a tree, they do so knowing that although it will take years to grow, it will yield great benefits for future generations. They will start protecting the wildlife that they have disrespected for so long and pass down those values to the next generation…