A continent on the rise, one community at a time

Community Empowerment

Together with the people of Africa, we are creating change.

African Wildlife Foundation is improving the lives of local people, helping their communities, and saving wildlife simultaneously. We work directly with communities to understand the obstacles they face and provide solutions specific to their needs. These solutions provide jobs, conservation training, educational opportunities, and, ultimately, the ability for people to better their own lives.

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Challenges

The people, the land, and the wildlife are undergoing a tough balancing act.

People want to do more than survive—they want to thrive and prosper. But, the opportunities aren’t always available. Africans living in rural areas often lack access to good schools. They survive off the land, cutting down trees in critical wildlife habitats for fuel and engaging in slash-and-burn agriculture for food.

Many locals also see wildlife as a threat to their current livelihoods, eating crops and attacking livestock. As a result, people oftentimes have no sympathy for wildlife. Instead, wildlife is seen as a nuisance and even competition for resources. 

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Solutions

Empowering communities improves livelihoods and saves wildlife.

AWF works with communities where they are and provides solutions based on what they need:

  • Provide ranger and scout training—and jobs—to protect wildlife.

    In Southern Zambia’s Sekute community, AWF trained locals to work as Sekute Trust Community Scouts. By providing this training, AWF is creating new job opportunities, educating people on conservation and involving the community in anti-poaching efforts. This has resulted in the confiscation of ivory, illegal fishing nets, and assault rifles from poachers.

    We also developed ranger groups in the Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Working with DRC park authorities, we’re training local eco-guards to help patrol the protected bonobo sanctuary.

  • Give those with the interest the means to pursue conservation.

    Conservation is still not a go-to career path for many Africans, but there are plenty who have the passion and the talent for it. AWF encourages these dedicated individuals by giving them the means to continue their conservation education and training. We provide scholarships, have established wildlife management institutions, and even offer on-the-job training to ensure Africans have the training to manage and protect their natural resources into the future.

  • Improve lives of the future with education.

    By building conservation schools throughout the priority landscapes we work in, we are educating young Africans on conservation and how it will not only improve their lives, but the lives of Africa’s wildlife.

Projects

Explore some of our community empowerment projects and see how AWF helps local communities improve their livelihoods while protecting wildlife.

  • Kolo Hills REDD+
    Food security in the face of climate change in Central Tanzania

    Drastic measures must be taken to mitigate climate change in Africa. 

    In Africa, achieving long-term conservation requires the often-competing demands of wildlife...

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  • Congo Shipping Project
    Growing the DRC's agricultural options

    Civil war has led to poverty and environmental degradation. 

    Following years of social turmoil and civil war, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was left without...

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  • Bwindi Mountain Gorilla Census
    Cataloging the critically endangered mountain gorilla

    Accurate population numbers are needed for gorilla conservation. 

    The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is home to approximately half of the world’s...

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  • Chiawa Cultural Village
    Celebrating the Goba people and their deep connection to the environment

    Local tourism was not benefitting the community. 

    The banks of the Zambezi River are home to the Goba people who constitute the Chiawa Chiefdom, located in Zambia....

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  • African Wild Dog Scouts
    Monitoring vulnerable wild dog populations in Kenya

    Wild dogs in danger.

    The African wild dog is seriously endangered due to human-carnivore conflict. Hunting and habitat loss has left fewer than 5,000 wild dogs in all...

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Join African Wildlife Foundation as a member for just $25. Your partnership is vital to our mission to protect Africa’s most precious - and imperiled - creatures.

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