Tag Archives: Africa

The Jumbo Foundation Elephant Orphanage

The Jumbo Foundation Elephant Orphanage

This week is my daughter’s birthday so I felt compelled to write about an animal organization since my daughter loves animals.  At a festival one summer, I rode an elephant with my daughter.  We got on to the saddle and held on for a short ride in a circle.  Just before the end of the ride, we passed the other elephant, who reached his trunk into the air and wiped it against my arm.  My daughter still tells the story of the time an elephant wiped his nose on her mommy.  Today’s organization is making a difference for these large creatures.

Jenny Webb has always loved animals and she has been rescuing animals since she was a child.  In recent years, she volunteered at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, an organization that works toward releasing injured wild animals, especially primates, back into the wild.  Jenny has also brought injured animals to their facility to be nursed back to health.

In February 2012 she received a call from a friend to say there was a four day old elephant calf that had been orphaned and was in desperate need of care.  No facilities in Malawi were able to take care of this little elephant due to the high level of care he required, the cost, and the small chance of success, so Jenny agreed to take the elephant, named Moses, herself.  Due to this one orphaned baby elephant and the absence of facilities in the country to take are of large orphaned or injured wildlife led her to form the Jumbo Foundation Elephant Orphanage.  Larger animals including elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and hippos require more funds to rehabilitate, very personalized care, and a quiet stress free environment.

Moses spent his nights in Jenny’s home sleeping on her floor and his days in the garden area of the property with either Jenny or his two keepers, Matimat and Jim.  Baby elephants cannot be left alone because they require bottle feedings every two hours and require warmth and protection from the sun that a mother elephant would typically provide for the first year of their life.  Unfortunately, Moses died after living with them for nine months.  You can read posts about Moses on the organization’s blog or watch a video here (note that some videos contain some graphic images).

The Jumbo Foundation Elephant Orphanage’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the wild orphaned and injured large wild animals.  They are located outside of Lilongwe, Malawi in Central Africa.  They have also built up a close working relationship with other elephant orphanages in Zambia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe to share knowledge of animal husbandry, milk formulas, veterinary care, and more.  They also have close working relationships with highly acclaimed wildlife vets in Zambia, Kenya and the United States who are on call 24 hours a day for veterinary advice.

If elephant poaching continues at the same rate as 2011, wild elephants will become extinct within 12 to 15 years.  Elephants are emotional creatures and when babies are left to die in the bush, it results in a very traumatic and terrifying death.  You can learn more about elephants and their emotions on The Jumbo Foundation website or from the Unforgettable Elephants documentary from Nature.

Elephant with Ball

Volunteering with orphaned elephants is not recommended since they form strong emotional bonds with their keepers.  Also, the elephants need to retain their natural fear of humans to ensure they will still run away from poachers.  However, you can still help.

  • You can find options to make a monetary donation on the Jumbo Foundation website.
  • You can also find a wish list on their website of other items they need for the care of the animals or for the building of their new barn.
  • You can purchase art of Moses the elephant to help support their program.

To learn more about The Jumbo Foundation, please visit their website,  You can also connect with them on Facebook.

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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Nonprofit Organization


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Forgotten Voices

Based on the 2006 report on the global AIDS epidemic from the World Health Organization, 500 people die each day from illnesses related to AIDS and 1,800,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.  Approximately 16% of children in Zimbabwe have lost one or both parents due to AIDS according to the 2010 UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic.

Today’s organization is working to make a difference for these children.  Forgotten Voices is a United States based non-profit that works through partnerships with churches in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Their mission is to equip churches in southern Africa to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities.

Forgotten Voices was founded in late 2005 by Ryan Keith in response to the AIDS pandemic in Africa.  The organization formed after campfire discussions with Zimbabwean pastors.  At the time there was no other organization partnering with local churches in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  They now partner with dozens of organizations to maximize the resources available.  With each new project, local church leaders are asked to first determine what resources are already available to them through their community, other organizations and churches.  After potential partnerships are identified, Forgotten Voices helps the local leadership explore ways to fill in the gaps that remain to create a sustainable orphan care plan in the community.

The organization focuses on education, home based care, and skill development.  They offer financial support and training to church pastors to prioritize the overwhelming challenges before them.  Projects are run by the church which allows them to have local ownership and limitless possibilities.  Some of the projects have included project management training workshops for over 800 pastors; annual retreats for orphaned children; agricultural training and supplies; grief counseling and support; training for home-based care workers; new wells to provide clean water; community gardens; school fee payments; nutrition programs; and more!

Something else unique about Forgotten Voices is that they don’t take credit for their work whenever possible.  That seems a backwards from how many non-profits operate, but they feel this helps limit dependency and creates ownership, as well as accountability. It also helps position churches to stand on their own after the funding from Forgotten Voices ends.

How can you help? 

There are several volunteer opportunities posted on the Forgotten Voices website.  They are also running a fundraising campaign called Ten Together that encourages groups of 10 people to give $10 a month and donate 10 hours of community service locally.  There is also an option to make a donation directly on the organization’s website.

You can learn more about Forgotten Voices on their website,  You can also follow their blog and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Nonprofit Organization


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Alive & Kicking

There are some conversations that can change your life.  The idea for today’s organization was spurred by one such conversation on a street in Tanzania.

Alive & Kicking’s late founder, Jim Cogan OBE, saw a man on the side of a road stitching a ball, stopped to talk to him and the concept for Alive & Kicking was born.

The vision of Alive & Kicking is an Africa where every child can play with a real ball, where thousands of jobs are sustained in the production of balls for previously unemployed adults, and where sport contributes to the eradication of deadly disease.  To realize this vision, they are establishing stitching centers in disadvantages areas in African countries.  They employ local adults at a fair wage to hand stitch footballs, volleyballs, and other sport balls from local leather. 

Some of the hand-stitched balls are sold in local retail outlets or online, with proceeds being reinvested in social outreach and employee programs.  The rest of the balls are donated to local schools and projects that cannot afford to purchase them. 

This already sounds like a great program, but Alive & Kicking also prints simple messages on all their balls about diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB to act as prompts for teachers and coaches.  The children can then be taught about the difficult topic of disease through sport.

The organization currently has two stitching centers, one in Lusaka, Zambia and the other in Nairobi, Kenya employing 150 adults between them.  Both centers operate as not-for-profit businesses with all surpluses being reinvested in further charitable activities and employee welfare.  The organization also hopes to open a third stitching center in West Africa in 2011.  In addition, there is an office located in London where they created an educational program that is focuses on teaching young people about issues in international development and global citizenship.  They even created a series of lesson plans which integrate Alive & Kicking’s work into the school curriculum that has been adopted by over 20 youth groups and schools in London.

In addition, in Kenya, Alive & Kicking has produced a set of HIV/AIDS awareness posters featuring African sports stars warning young people of the dangers of contracting HIV. These have been distributed to every secondary school in Kenya.  A similar program is being launched in Zambia in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

How can you help?

  • Buy a hand-stitched ball for yourself at their website.
  • You can also donate a ball to a school, orphanage, refugee camp or youth project in Africa.  You will even be sent information on who receives it.
  • If you happen to be near one of the stitching centers in Africa, you can visit to see how a ball is made (or for most people…you can watch a video of the balls being made here).
  • You can also spread the word about the Alive & Kicking mission by sharing this blog post!

You can learn more about Alive & Kicking at their website, You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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