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Coffee & Clothes for Elephant Conservation

Batoka, an orphan at GRI in Zambia

Elephantopia’s goals are twofold: save elephants & build community.

If you love elephants and are concerned about the future of Africa’s communities adversely affected by poaching and crime syndicates, then these are probably your goals too. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed and wonder “how can I make a difference?” Last year Elephantopia as a blog was started with that very question. And the answers were clear: we need to save elephants and the best way to do that is through community!

Building a community of elephant advocates did not take long thanks to social media. On our blog, we share elephant videos in hopes that it will 1) teach people about elephants and 2) endear them towards this species as many people have never seen an elephant in the wild. Every week we share at least one story about elephant news and ways people can make a difference be it through contacting local governments, signing petitions, walking/marching to raise awareness and more. Three times a week on our facebook page we post an Elephant Fact of the Day (M/W/F) to continue to educate people about these amazing creatures. We also sell t-shirts for people to wear with the inscription “SAY NO TO IVORY” and bumper stickers with the reminder that “EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE” (click on the links or photos below to purchase yours today - they are great conversation starters and a friendly way to educate others!)

Through these education & action opportunities, we are slowly building a community of people who care deeply for elephants and are committed to seeing a long and healthy future in the wild for them in Africa.

Saving elephants seems like an even bigger task. That’s why we are partnering with an organization in Zambia doing just that:  meet GRI - Game Rangers International. GRI was formed in 2008,  with the specific aim of assisting the communities living around the Kafue National Park to better manage the natural resources of the area through support to wildlife management and protection and community outreach and education. Below are 5 main projects that take a holistic approach to the problems of conservation and development

  1. Kafue Conservation Project - providing welfare, training and support to wildlife personnel
  2. Elephant Orphanage Project - rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orphaned elephants
  3. Muzovu Awareness Project - education projects for environmental awareness
  4. Community Outreach Project - supporting sustainable utilization of natural resources for communities living nearby to protect areas
  5. Kafue Research Project - studying Human Elephant Conflict in the greater Kafue park

Within the coming year, we aim to create a community of ele-advocates who will support the care of an elephant from the orphanage together with us.

But what’s one way you can get involved RIGHT NOW? How about drinking another cup of coffee! GRI partners with Black Mamba Coffee Roasters. All their coffee is sourced directly from Africa to ensure the African farmers get a better price for their crops.   They import the green beans into the US, roast, pack and sell the coffee here.  By having GRI as their partner they can ensure that the added value of this product is going back to Africa and used in saving the wildlife. Anyone can help the elephants at GRI simply by buying coffee from their website online store. For every half-pound (1/2lb) of coffee sold, they give GRI $2.00, and the coffee is delivered to your door. It’s convenience and conservation in a cup.

http://www.blackmambacoffee.com

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