I've been following the IAPF for years after watching the founder, Damien Mander, share his story in a TED talk. The work this organization is doing to save our planet's wildlife from extinction is admirable, inspiring and actually gives this animal-lover hope. Not only are they making a significant impact on the rhino and elephant populations in Africa, they are providing meaningful employment to the incredible women, the Akashinga, they recruit to do the work in the field.
I hosted a fundraiser for the IAPF in 2018 and had the opportunity to meet and host Damien during his time in California to raise awareness and funds. He is the real deal. His schedule was insane and he showed up in full force to educate and inspire. He has dedicated his life to protecting our planet's majestic beasts from meaningless, violent, greed-motivated deaths.
IAPF is a wonderful organization. They have a unique conservation model that is both efficient and effective. I am very impressed by everything they do.
They do an amazing job for the animals, and with integrity and respect for the locals. First class operation.
After working with conservation nonprofits for more than 30 years, it is refreshing to find a group like this. People who remain focused on what matters - mission over ego, results rather than glitter.
This is EXACTLY what wildlife and wild places need!
The IAPF is a wonderful charity that works to protect threatened wildlife in Africa like rhinos and elephants. It's founder, Damien Mander is a former Australian special forces sniper veteran of the recent war in Iraq and a former instructor of Iraqi security forces. He now uses his unique expertise to train conservation rangers in Africa. The flagship of the IAPF is Akashinga ( "The Brave Ones"), a group of courageous women who work with Damien to build up local communities and patrol areas where poachers and trophy hunters are known to operate. Through these tactics, Damien and Akashinga are working to help ensure that magestic animals like rhinos and elephants never vanish from the wild.
Last year, I had the privilege of hosting a benefit event for the IAPF where funds were raised to support this great cause and awareness was raised for the outstanding conversation efforts of the IAPF and why their work is so important. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this event with the IAPF and I look forward to being able to do more to assist them in the future. They are a fantastic organization who are easy to work with and the work that they do is so important. I hope more and more people help them out in the future!
Joe's Cowtown Photos
Actions speak louder than words. IAPF is an organization driven from the heart, with presence in Zimbabwe and scaling elsewhere in Africa, including SA, Kenya, and Mozambique.
I had the opportunity to meet Kelly (US Director), Vimbai (Lead Ranger in Zimbabwe), and Damien (Founder) at a fundraiser event, and saw firsthand how they work together and support one another as a team. They shared their very different life stories and how they have come together to rally around common conservation goals to protect endangered and highly trafficked animals. This is being achieved with significant impact in the region.
Their all-female team of rangers (named Akashinga or “The Brave Ones”) are effective, community-driven and are accomplishing anti-poaching objectives from an empowered set of tactics and principles. I am a monthly supporter and encourage others to be the same. If you have the chance to attend an IAPF event, Kelly, Vimbai and Damien are accessible, thoughtful and kind. Godspeed in Africa, IAPF. For the animals!
IAPF won my heart and my trust in a very short time. I saw and still see proof of what they are accomplishing. Saving and protecting animals while empowering women and the community. Their model is working by engaging the people with their environment and teaching and training them how to keep the model moving forward. There is more conversations and understanding and education about a more sustainable way of living. Instead of anger and conflict that could be deadly, for both humans and animals. I have seen the proof. Damien is the real deal, he walks the walk not just talks the talk. He is humble and straightforward. I have seen Vimbai, a Ranger who had basically no self esteem become a dignified, soft spoken ,yet powerful force for change. I absolutely love how she holds her head up high and has a "proud" and confident presence about her. I have been involved with a lot of non-profit organizations ( through hands on volunteering and reading and watching which ones are legit and stick around ( since the 1980's), and I have seen and heard a lot of what can go wrong. I have learned that you can not simply say to residents "stop poaching". because that is their way of life and what they know. However, Damien has been very successful at forming a sustainable model which gives an alternative way to survive, through training rangers( he has extensive and impressive qualifications to do this.) Empowering women, saving animals and working with the community, not against them. I feel proud to have learned about and to be connected to something that encompasses my beliefs and morals. Honestly, It gives me hope. Being involved with animal advocacy for many years can bring me down and feeling helpless. I see accomplishments with IAPF. Also, This Organization is based in Africa, but it has connections that include the whole world.
What an amazing group of people! I've had the pleasure of meeting Damien and hearing him speak at several events in the Bay Area. He is beyond committed and passionate about saving these beautiful creatures from exploitation and extinction. The Akashinga rangers are also truly awe inspiring. Many of these women rangers come from violent or abusive pasts. Supporters of the IAPF have the satisfaction of knowing that their donation dollars not only help disadvantaged women provide for their families but also directly protect the wildlife in these regions. The community-oriented conservation methods of the IAPF are working and I was thrilled to hear they are expanding their programs and training more anti-poaching rangers. I am proud to support the IAPF because I want generations to come to be able to see rhinos and elephants thriving in the wild. Thank you to Damien and everyone at IAPF for all you do.
One of my greatest concerns is the loss of biodiversity on our fragile planet. I feel it is essential to save the other species & IAPF does that, efficiently & effectively. Damien Mander leads this organization with great passion & principles. The fact that women are the empowered protectors of the endangered species in their countries & are able to provide for their families because of their courageous work makes this organization even more powerful & worthy of recognition & financial support. I am certainly very proud to be a supporter & was thrilled to meet one of the rangers & see Damien again, as pictured here.
I found out about this non-profit through a dear family friend and as a long time believer in the importance actively protecting endangered species, I was excited to learn more. I showed up at the event, relatively uninformed, and can honestly say that I have rarely been as moved as I was that evening. I was particularly impressed with the multi-faceted impact that IAPF has on the community. I donate money to women's empowerment efforts and I donate money to nonprofits that aim to protect and save endangered species, so to be able to donate money to an organization that supports both of my favorite causes feels good. It is also good to see how women's empowerment is really an effective way to lift a community up and on top of that - IT IS EFFECTIVE. These women help to save the lives of so many animals. It is the definition of a virtuous cycle. On top of that, everyone that works with IAPF is passionate about the cause, including the donors/supporters - it is wonderful to see such high engagement. The final point which impressed me, which is more around process and administration, is that from my perspective they are operating on a shoestring budget and mindful of how the expenses of fundraising should be dwarfed by what is spent on the cause. I believe that the people running the organization are great stewards of the funds raised, which is the icing on the cake.
The International Anti Poaching Foundation is one of the most unique, groundbreaking, and truly sustainable community driven non-profits that I have had the pleasure of supporting. Damien and the Akashinga are moving mountains in the name of anti-poaching initiatives around Africa; in addition to creating jobs and promoting women within surrounding communities. From fundraising events, to emails, and even through one-on-one conversations, Damien and the rest of the IAPF staff are always responsive, kind, and genuine. There is no doubt about their commitment to conserving Africa's biodiversity and inspiring others to do the same. I can only hope that their message continues to spread and that wildlife and ecosystems continue to benefit from their amazing anti-poaching work.
IAPF is doing such amazing work, not only to save africas wildlife, but giving women the opportunity to work and defend on the front line. Just incredible.
I met Damien Mander in South Australia in 2016. His sincerity and enthusiasm was obvious.....a vegan ex-soldier who gave up gis life here to protect African wildlife was pretty rare. Planning to do some fundraising to totally fund an Akashinga warrior for a whole year. Such a brilliant idea and I am sold on the organisation IAPF.
This is an amazing organization! I volunteered in Africa with them last year. The best experience of my life seeing what these rangers do everyday to protect wildlife. The people in this organization dedicate their lives to protecting animals and truly care about what happens to them. I highly recommend people donating to them because it’s going to a great cause.
First heard of Damien a few years ago and was lucky to get the chance to meet him and hear from himself about the work he and his women rangers are doing. He’s one of the most incredibly dedicated and tireless conservationists I know. Definitely a group that deserves as much as we can give them to continue their work
I spent over two weeks volunteering with the IAPF rangers in the Victoria Falls area of Zimbabwe last October. It was an extraordinary experience. The total commitment of the rangers and staff of the IAPF to all animals and the African Bush as a whole was beyond description. I was honored to be a part of the Green Army" and look forward to being able to return again soon. Thank you all for what you do and who you are!!
A dedicated group of incredible humans doing their bit to stamp out illegal activities and poaching. Their commitment to conservation is world class.
IAPF is fighting a tough war to protect some of the oldest and most majestic creatures on our planet. The training and involvement of the local people is second to none and if you ever get a chance to see Damien speak when he's not on the front line do yourself favour and take the time to hear his and IAPF's story.
I first heard of IAPF when I saw Damien on a documentary talking about IAPF, as I work in Australia with Rhino I was amazed by his contributions to protecting this species. I also attended one of his talks in Adelaide and had him visit my place of work, Monarto Zoo.
His passion and true dedication is truely inspiring. It’s easy to sit back and hope for the best but this man dedicates his life to saving Rhino and Elephants in the field. His work is dangerous and sometimes life threatening. He has trained many others with his skills and together they truely do make a difference.
I have been a supporter of IAPF for a few years and recently I was lucky enough to meet Damien and hear his story first hand. Him and his Rangers are true wildlife heroes, they risk it all for the heart and soul of this planet.
I saw the story 5 years ago, and was so inspired and angry about what was happening with poaching; I signed up to volunteer. In 2013 I spent one month at the IAPF and got to see their work and dedication first hand. Twice a day, morning and night, I went out on patrols with the IAPF Rangers, who are so passionate about conserving and saving their wildlife. We walked slowly through the bush, looking for any signs of footprints, snares, someone trying to cut fencing or any signs of intruders in the park. During rests, the Rangers would teach me about African wildlife and what this means for them to be doing this job. It is not a job for them but an honour and a privilege. I was taken to see the Rhinos they are protecting, sighted giraffes, elephants, antelope and even a painted dog during my stay.
Having stayed the month, I felt part of an extraordinary team working to protect wildlife for future generations, and the Rangers and staff their made me feel welcome. I would recommend it for an amazing experience you will never forget. I am still a regular donor.
Damien Mander and his group of dedicated, tenacious, hard working team of rangers set an example for all of us. Their belief and unwavering commitment to the protection of wildlife is a shining example of what can be achieved when people work together.
I met Damien when he first arrived in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and where his small idea grew into a highly respected international charity.
Damien has changed everything about the way he lives and works to the betterment of animals everywhere.
He trains and equips rangers to carry out dangerous tasks in difficult situations. He fills them with his enthusiasm and passion knowing that he can rely on them to protect all species, not just those that are endangered by the greed of fellow humans.
He has researched and searched for answers to the never ending cycle of poaching and it is a tough problem to solve.
The IAPF team are some of the best trained and equipped rangers and we all need to help him and them to continue to provide a service to stop these illegal activities.
There is never enough that we, who sit in air conditioned offices and dream of seeing elephants wandering the plains of Africa, can do to help Damien and the IAPF.
The IAPF's Akashinga team, in June, successfully caught two poachers who have been eluding police for a number is years. This is a team of female rangers who completed training in October 2017. Just another example of how effective the IAPF has been in empowering men and women in Zimbabwe to protect the wildlife for the benefit of their communities and the rest of the world.
I donated during the holidays and I shared an article about the women rangers with my friends because I thought it was awesome. But then, this organization took my donation AGAIN in January even though I did not say I would make a monthly donation! I know I did not because I never do. I donate small amounts to a lot of conservation organizations and I never allow them to take money from my account...ever. Now I have emailed many times, to a couple of different IAPF addresses. They do not list a phone number with the withdrawal. I cannot find a phone number inside the USA on the website. No one has replied to my emails. I am not on Facebook. Now, I have to cancel my credit card just to keep them from taking my money each month. What a pain. It makes me never want to donate to an African organization again!
I first met Damien almost 3 years ago, a charismatic determined young man on a mission! Learning what a life changing event this cause has been for him, and knowing how dedicated he is to protect rhinos and elephants till the last one standing, has inspired me to be more committed to IAPF than to any other cause. I support many environmental and wildlife causes, but as I know the organization and its founder first hand, I know where every one of my dollars is going! Then as now, Damien seeks out backpacker dormitories when traveling to ensure that as much of the funds donated for the front lines, reach the front lines! I applaud Damien and his rangers, and am grateful that there are a handful of caring souls who are willing to die for their cause! Thank you Damien and IAPF.
Damien took the bull by the horns when he decided to establish IAPF and his approach has shown incredible results. To me it is always important to know what moves someone to change their lives so drastically and dedicate it so completely to save another species. It’s passion and compassion and a healthy dose of anger and Damien’s TED talk has all that and more. Watch it if you haven’t https://youtu.be/9FCsyK4aRXQ. It’s beyond inspirational! We’re lucky and honored to be working with him this summer on a special photo project that will feature his and other conservationists” work.
The IAPF changed my life. The careful, intelligent work of Damien Mander and his rangers in southern Africa has successfully stemmed the tide of poaching in the areas they have targeted. Against the odds, the IAPF have found a way to hold the line between poaching syndicates and some of the world's most vulnerable animals and in doing so showed me that conservation needs to be highly strategic for it to be successful. As the spokesperson for IAPF, Damien represents a team of highly skilled and committed African rangers who risk their lives to protect wildlife beloved to us all. He takes the time to speak with people from all sectors of society, including school students. As a vegan, Damien demonstrated that it's within my power to save animals on a daily basis without even leaving my house and I am proudly following in his footsteps in that regard. He's been a great mentor, showing me how much difference one Australian can make in conservation if they are really willing to give it a go. I'm proud of him. IAPF have my full financial and emotional support and my heartfelt gratitude.
I donate to IAPF on a regular basis because the organisation is invaluable. The rangers who work on patrols risk their lives every day to save the beautiful Rhino. Not many people would put their lives in the line to protect an endangered species. Besides this, the organisation also educates people and raises the awareness of the Rhino's plight. I wish every human being would care as much about what we leave for our children like Damien Mander, the world would be a much better place!
I volunteered with IAPF in March 2017 for 2 weeks and wish I could have stayed longer. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I came away from my time there with far more than I could have ever imagined. I learnt so much from all of the team on the ground and also the other volunteers who I have formed great friendships with. The Rangers are a highly skilled team and they were happy to educate all the volunteers and make us feel at home in their environment. I looked forward to every day I spent there as they were never the same. I feel fortunate to be in a position now to tell others about my experience and promote the great work IAPF is doing. I will continue to support them in every way possible and hope to return in the near future. If you have the opportunity to hear Damien talk - do not miss out, do not hesitate, go!
The IAPF do such amazing things. I was lucky enough to see Damien Mander talk in melbourne and he really lit a fire in my heart to do something. He has put his whole soul into preserving the precious rhinos left in Mozambique and other parts of Africa's Following his talk my friend and I put on a fundraiser that helped to raise $30.000. We were so proud as this is such a necessary cause.
I have worked in the non profit sector for over 30 years and can wholeheartedly testify that IAPF is one of the most effective NGOs I have ever encountered. The reason for their success is clear. Motivated, well trained and equipped rangers on the ground guided by top of the line tacticians and data diagnosticians is getting the job done like no other outfit out there. And its lean and impactful operation makes every cent of every donor dollar count - offering tangible results to its supporters at every turn. Give all you can. And get out there in the bush and see them in action - you won't regret it!
Impressive foundation that gets real results where it matters the most! May it continue to grow and help put an end to the brutal suffering caused by poaching. They have my support!
Being someone who was uneducated/unaware of the plight of both Rhinos and the anti-poaching community, hearing Damien speak opened my eyes up to a world I knew very little about. Education is one of the most important steps in conservation, and for that reason I rate my experience with the IAPF very highly
I have been especially concerned about the plight of Rhinos for a few years now. Since learning about the amazing work the IAPF have been doing in Africa I am so grateful for the impact they are having at reducing poaching rates. They are on the front line protecting Rhinos against organised poaching syndicates. Not only do they train and support rangers to know how to locate the poachers and prevent attacks on Rhinos, they also provide financial aid to the families of rangers who are hurt in the line of duty. They are soldiers fighting a very real war and need all the support they can get. I don't want my children losing their most loved animal on the earth.
Hearing Damian Mander speak in Adelaide recently has increased my passion for animal conservation. I can't speak highly enough about Damien and the IAPF.
Mel, Adelaide, Australia
A few years ago i volunteered in Zimbabwe for a month because i wanted to have extra "boots on the ground" and assist anyway i could against poaching of our beautiful wildlife . It was such an amazing rewarding experience to see real front line conservation in action with committed compassionate rangers. I still continue to donate regularly and promote IAPF whenever i can. Will i go back? You bet!! I recommend it to anyone. You may be one person - but you can make a Difference. Thanks Damien x :)