Given the fact that much of East Africa’s wild animals actually lives outside the protection of national parks on private or community lands, Cheli & Peacock shares the belief with other eco experts that local residents must be able to see, understand and directly benefit from wildlife tourism in order to create a strong bond that will ensure the preservation of these magnificent creatures long into the future.
With this in mind, the company created the C&P Community Trust in 2011. Later re-branded as the Land & Life Foundation, the nonprofit is joined with the Elewana Collection, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand and hospitality and restaurant operator Minor International to create an environmental education campaign that spans two continents.
The guiding ideals of the Land & Life Foundation lie in the belief that the sustainability of East Africa’s wildlife and habitats depends on four key actions: securing land for conservation, protecting species and their environment, providing tangible benefits to the people who live alongside wildlife, and educating the next generation of conservationists.
Much of the foundation’s focus is on community outreach in Kenya and Tanzania, a Wildlife Warrior program that seeks to introduce and educate the next generation to the issues of conservation and wildlife and teach them how to create a sustainable future where communities and wildlife can thrive together.
The ambition of these young Wildlife Warriors is leading their nations forward with passion, so more people can understand and appreciate of the importance of wildlife conservation and tourism. Evidence shows that programs like this positively impact young people, their communities and local ecology. Since its launch, the program has worked with more than 1,600 children living in prominent wildlife areas.
Each school term, local conservationists and camp guides deliver inspirational talks to our Wildlife Warriors. This provides them with content for poetry, trivia and poster competitions, and fosters their growing passion for conservation. Prize winners are rewarded with guided game drives and tours of our properties in Kenya.
Every year, the Wildlife Warrior Program provides school scholarships to outstanding young conservationists. These youngsters are brought together for a three-day interactive retreat to broaden their awareness of the challenges and successes of conservation on a national level.
All management and operational costs of the foundation are met by the partners. For example, Cheli & Peacock Safaris donates $1 from every bed night it sells to the foundation. As a result, 100% of every donation received from other sources goes directly to the supported schools and communities.
A single $100 donation pays for one scholar to attend the annual Wildlife Warrior Scholars’ Retreat, $250 pays for training for one medical practitioner in the Masai Mara, $540 buys a single Human-Elephant Conflict Kit, and $2,200 pays for 75% of a child’s school fees for four years under the Wildlife Warrior Scholarship Program.