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Big Life Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: Our Mission: On the ground in East Africa, partnering with communities for the benefit of all. Big Life uses innovative conservation strategies and collaborating closely with local communities, partner NGOs, national parks and government agencies, Big Life Foundation seeks to protect and sustain East Africa’s wild lands and wildlife, including one of the greatest populations of elephants left in East Africa. The first organization in East Africa with coordinated anti-poaching teams operating on both sides of the Kenya-Tanzania border, Big Life recognizes that sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a community-based collaborative approach, which is at the heart of Big Life’s philosophy : Conservation supports the people and people support conservation. Big Life’s vision is to establish a successful holistic conservation model in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem that can be replicated across the African continent.

Results: Approximately 350 field staff, including 250 trained rangers, are spread across more than 40 permanent outposts, mobile units (including a Rapid Deployment Unit) and observation posts covering roughly 2M acres of wilderness. Big Life also employs aerial surveillance and uses tracker dogs to patrol within our area of operation. Since 2011, Big Life rangers have patrolled nearly 2M km of wilderness, making over 2,400 arrests and confiscating over 3,500 poaching tools. In 2016, Big Life rangers patrolled over 232,000 km by vehicle and nearly 79,000 km on foot. As a result, they dealt with a number of crimes ranging from poaching to habitat destruction to community crimes. In total, there were 243 people arrested for 119 incidents. Nearly 500 poaching or habitat destruction tools were impounded, including 113 snares, 58 arrows, 50 machetes, etc. In addition to the tools, 410 kg of ivory, 8 animals skins, and 5 kg of marijuana were also confiscated. MAASAI OLYMPICS The third biennial Maasai Olympics was held in December 2016, in which local Maasai athletes compete for medals, not lions. Maasai tribes historically identify leaders and demonstrate bravery through lion hunts, but there are simply not enough lions left for the tradition to continue. This competition promotes conservation education and provides a viable cultural alternative to lion hunting.

Target demographics: To protect and sustain East Africa’s wild lands and wildlife, including one of the greatest populations of elephants left in the region.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Endangered East African wildlife including elephants and rhinos. Local East African indigenous communities.

Geographic areas served: East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania)

Programs: Anti-Poaching Rangers, Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation, Rhino Project, Predator Compensation Fund, Tracker Dogs, Community Employment, Education and Scholarships, Conservation Through Sports (Maasai Olympics)

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Jane Michaelides-Smith

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been a supporter of Big Life for almost five years now & will continue as a lifelong supporter. They have proven to be successful in all aspects of true conservation. I consider Big Life to be a model to all involved in the interest of helping protect all wildlife, habitats, as well as educate and support surrounding communities.

Donor

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is an excellent provider of protection to the wildlife in Africa! I am especially impressed by the fact that they work with the local population to educate about the horrendous practice of poaching. They train and employ the local population to patrol and prevent poaching. Big Life organizes the local peole in other types of competitive life experiences. I feel Big Life is an exemplary non-profit that other groups could look at to improve their practices. Thank you, Big Life, for all you do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Life has accomplished amazing feats when it comes to protecting some Africa's most beautiful wild creatures while also helping local communities. The work they do is necessary, vital, and an important example of how if we work together, we can come up with good solutions that benefit everyone involved. Hopefully, because of the work of this organization and their supporters, the beauty of these wild creatures will remain for generations to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you for your AMAZING efforts to save these majestic animals! I’m grateful your foundation exists!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Life continues to do the important and effective work to save these incredible creatures. If you value true wildlife advocacy, the kind that makes a difference, you should be supporting them and their work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization that tries to work with communities to find solutions that ultimately protect the wildlife, support these folks!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Big Life Foundation’s work in Africa is inspiring. The work with the animals and villagers is a role model for this kind of work. The project shows a great view of sustainability and promotes the best kind of partnership and collaboration among farmers, villagers and their neighboring wildlife. The integrity and respect that are integral to the foundation showcase the best of non profit organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Life Foundation's work in Africa to help preserve wildlife as well as helping realign cultural traditions in favor of conservation is truly impressive!

Nicholas Dante D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that promotes a great initiative. Really excited to see how Big Life Foundation expands in the coming months and years, so happy to be part of it in a small way and help along the journey.

Ryan W.2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a tremendous organization staffed by outstanding, idealistic, and conscientious professionals who are working hard to protect wildlife in Africa and promote the larger cause of taking care of the natural world. I have donated my hard-earned money to this organization and will continue to do so; they have a clear vision and are highly effective and strategic about pursuing it.

Sandy B.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Definitely a wonderful organization. Their collaboration with LOCAL communities as well as other larger agencies allows them to make strides not often seen. I love their community based collaborative approach-- its a win win.

2 twalter

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love and care for our planet, and appreciate what Big Life Foundation does to protect such a special place in East Africa. For me, being able to replicate and produce tangible success is important. Big Life's results speak for themselves and their dedication to wildlife, habitat, and community is vital for a working relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world. I'm a proud Ranger Club member as well!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Any NGO that gives a voice to those that don't have one, is the NGO to support in my personal opinion. The work these guys do on a daily basis is what will determine whether my kids or grandchildren will ever have the opportunity to ever encounter these incredible animals in the wild. Well done to everyone involved.

1 Barbara M.

Donor

Rating: 5

We've supported Big Life Foundation for many years--they are simply one of the best organizations working to protect African wildlife.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a Big Life donor for several years, and I’m continually impressed by the breadth of work they do. Big Life has done an incredible job of raising awareness about the fate of elephants and the illicit trading of ivory. Not only does Big Life combat poaching of elephants by putting “boots on the ground”, but they also work with community members to comprehend the economic value of these fragile creatures. I respect Big Life’s collaborative approach, which helps the communities understand the “big picture” of why it’s important to sustain their environment, in order to sustain themselves. Additionally, Big Life provides hundreds of jobs, and enables children to have access to education through scholarships and partnerships with schools. I’m confident my donations are making a difference. We can’t let the elephant suffer the same fate as the rhino!

1 Alana G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been a big supporter of Big Life for a few years now and will continue to donate!

Big Life is doing an incredible job at not only protecting the African wildlife but also educating people on the effects of poaching.


1 Tricia30

Donor

Rating: 5

The Big Life Foundation's successful "feet-on-the-ground" work cannot be replaced. They do great work protecting vulnerable wildlife. Their rangers do work that few people are willing to do. Big Life's mission to find win/win solutions for the communities are one of the elements I value most. They are a phenomenal nonprofit !

1

Donor

Rating: 5

.... Our planet needs conservationists and healers who hold for a brighter future. Our role as ELEPHANT advocates is to bring the great guardians to centerstage, to engage and fight for this amazing species. Our responsibility is vast yet the reward is everlasting❤️

1 Margaret89

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a monthly donor to Big Life Foundation for several years. They stepped up when the African elephant poaching was out of control and established teams to patrol in the Kenya Amboseli region and also in Tanzania. They have never faltered in doing all they can to keep elephants safe. They continue to expand their role in helping other animals and also helping the humans who live in the same areas with these animals, plus going after poachers to bring them to justice. I don't want to think about what could have happened to the wildlife if Big Life Foundation hadn't been formed.

2 Barry T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Big Life's vision is based on an elegantly simple circlular concept. By supporting the local Maasai communities with jobs that support Big Life's conservation effort, providing educational scholarships for the Massai children and offering health care services to the Maasai communities, the communities in turn will support conservation. As a result of Big Life's work the Maasai people they realize that if the poaching and killing of wildlife continues they will be the ones to suffer; their jobs and all of the services that Big Life provides as will all of the tourist who visit this vast Amboseli Kilimanjaro ecosystem will completely disappear. This model deserves to be replicated throughout Africa. It has been extremely successful - it works. And that's why my wife and I support Big Life in a big way.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was on a mission to find the most effective model in conservation to ensure that my financial and volunteer contributions got the most mileage possible.... after passing on many, I found Big Life. I visited opperations during my diligence and was convinced. In the following years, they have continued to navigate the incredible challanges of conservation with class and efficiency. The world need Big Life.