Empowering communities through conservation
Founded in 1992 by &Beyond (formerly CC Africa), Africa Foundation became an independent non-profit organisation in 2001. Its mission is to facilitate the empowerment and development of people living in or adjacent to protected areas in Africa, by forging unique partnerships between conservation initiatives and communities.
It does this by working closely with ecotourism operators, primarily the &Beyond Foundation, and in consultation with the communities themselves.
Hand in hand
Wildlife conservation and ecotourism are vital for Africa's future and the prosperity of its people. It is estimated that over the next decade tourism will become the single biggest contributor to Southern African GDP and the greatest creator of new and sustainable jobs on the subcontinent.
However, if Africa's threatened ecosystems, endangered species and precious biodiversity is to be protected, then help must be given to the people most closely involved – namely, the communities living in and around the conservation areas.
Africa Foundation works in tandem with these communities to answer their most pressing needs, helping them towards sustainable development. Projects across South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia focus on education, healthcare and income generation.
A proven track record
Since its inception, Africa Foundation has raised more than US$6 million. With this they have built more than 130 classrooms and 20 preschools, trained 300 teachers and more than 6,000 pupils, and been able to award university level scholarships to more than 200 aspiring community leaders. Furthermore, they have built three healthcare clinics, implemented vital water programmes and led life-saving HIV and AIDS initiatives.
The Wexas Travel Foundation raised £11,000 to build and fit-out a classroom near Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Education enables communities to break out of the poverty trap and enhance their quality of life. The remote areas of KwaZulu-Natal are often overlooked and their few schools are chronically under-resourced. An additional classroom will raise the profile of the school, attract and provide jobs for additional teachers, reduce classroom overcrowding and improve learning conditions and student-teacher ratios.
Find out more
Visit the Africa Foundation website for the latest news, or click on the links below to read related articles within Wexas publications.
- Interview with Susannah Friend, UK Director of Fundraising for Africa Foundation