In exploring the age-old question of ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg’, we admit that in our case, it was the egg. F.I.E.R.C.E, or at least the idea of it was born in 2013 and while it was our intention to create a non-profit organization to raise funds for elephant conservation and welfare, regulations and laws governing non-profit support for out of country organizations were so complex, we began exploring other ways to give back. MisHMasH was born to create a separation between the income generating and philanthropic sides of the business and allow both sides to grow and evolve organically, so that one day, F.I.E.R.C.E may stand on its own.
The elephant organizations we support have a focus on animal welfare with a cross-over into wildlife conservation and with respect to Game Rangers International, anti-poaching and rural community outreach initiatives as well. We have chosen these two organizations because of a connection through personal experience and collaborations with close friends and colleagues, so both facilities are pretty special to us. We have no doubts as to the steadfast dedication and standard of care they provide within the capabilities of the very different environments each is exposed to. Both dedicate time, staff and resources to the collection and interpretation of scientific data and collaborate on research and conservation initiatives.
The decision to donate directly to grass-roots organizations overseas means that we don’t enjoy the benefit of tax deductible charitable deductions, however what we do receive is comfort in the knowledge that 100% of the money donated reaches its intended destination.
In addition to contributions in Africa, we try to do a small part here at home by donated funds to small conservation organizations. Please refer to donations page for additional information.
Key Organizations We Support
The Elephant Orphan Project is run by Game Rangers International (GRI), a Zambian conservation organizations working alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW). GRI is a small but multi faceted network encompassing law-enforcement, community outreach and education, research and policy, anti-trafficking and animal welfare.
The Elephant Orphan Project is comprised of two separate facilities:
Lilayi Elephant Nursery: Located on the outskirts of Lusaka in land donated by Lilayi Lodge, the nursery provides 24 hour care for vulnerable and fragile milk dependent orphans who are most often victims of wildlife crime or human-elephant conflict. The orphans are cared for by a team of dedicated local keepers who attend to their every need and provide care until the babies are strong and independent enough to graduate to Kafue.
Kafue Release Facility: Located in a remote region of Kafue National Park, the release facility is where the orphans go to learn how to once again become wild elephants. The beauty of the facility is that every new arrival is greeted by old friends who had graduated before them, so while they are leaving friends behind in Lilayi, they are re-united with friends who had made the journey before them. Now rather than learning from humans, it is the older and more experienced orphans who assume the roles of teacher and protector, while the large team of keepers and staff monitor their safety, comfort and health with limited human contact and interaction.
The majority of the funds donated to EOP by MisHMasH are allocated to the Kafue Release Facility.
The African Elephant Research Unit (AERU), Western Cape, South Africa, monitors and studies a herd of captive elephants living in a controlled free range environment within a tourism framework.
Established in 2009, AERU conducts non-harmful behavioural and physiological research on the elephants based at the park. The results of the research are used to provide information vital to park management which allows them to make adjustments when and where they are needed. Additionally, AERU collaborates with universities and international researchers to provide, facilitate and assist with research relevant to both captive and wild elephant populations.
The long term goal of AERU has always been to establish a refuge for elephants in need of a home, such as bulls emerging from a captive environment who are not well suited for life in a larger reserve. A foundation to build upon this goal has now been set in place and the 'feet for elephants' program has been launched. With this program, for every donation of ZAR 50, one foot of fenced land can be purchased for the elephants.
All funds donated to AERU will be deposited directly into an account set aside for this purpose.
Non-Profit Research Trust: # IT854/2013; PBO #9300 44259