The Sidekick Foundation® has provided core support for projects that align with our mission, objectives and approach.
Mabingwa - The Champions
The Sidekick Foundation® provides funding for well-informed partners like Well Told Story whose mission is to create social and economic value in Africa by harnessing the power of research, media and strategic communications to improve lives. The Sidekick Foundation® and Well Told Story brought their two missions together on a groundbreaking report entitled Understanding Young People’s Attitudes Towards Wildlife and Conservation that researched youth attitudes towards wildlife and conservation in Kenya. What they found was that the wildlife conservation industry is very confusing for Kenyan youth. The relationships between conservancies, communities and wildlife are often conflicting and the ways for youth to engage and the rewards for doing so are not obvious. Below is Mabingwa – The Champions, a movie produced by Sidekick and launched in partnership with African Wildlife Foundation, African Conservation Center, Kenya Wildlife Service and Wildlife Direct to better illustrate the findings of this groundbreaking study.
Mara Elephant Project
PROTECTING ELEPHANTS TO CONSERVE THE GREATER MARA ECOSYSTEM
The Sidekick Foundation® is the primary funder of a boots on the ground initiative, Mara Elephant Project, which aims to protect elephants to conserve the greater Mara ecosystem. Their approach involves: elephant collaring, monitoring and research; anti-poaching patrols and rapid response units; and human-elephant conflict mitigation. These approaches result in an increased boots on the ground presence in the Mara, a reduction in poaching, an expanded partnership network and newly developed innovative techniques and technologies to mitigate human-elephant conflict.
Wildlife Traxx Consultancy
Forensics for Conservation in Africa
Wildlife Traxx Consultancy’s mission is to conserve wildlife through outreach, training and research. Their aim is to protect endangered species from exploitation and conflict through the forensic crime scene training of first responders to enhance the prosecution of wildlife crimes. In 2013, the Kenyan government passed the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (WCMA) that included tough penalties for perpetrators of wildlife crime, particularly trafficking of ivory and rhino horn; however, with this law, the threshold of evidence required to sustain a case in court was intensified. The Kenya Wildlife Service Wildlife Forensic and Genetics Laboratory is responsible for processing DNA from wildlife exhibits but the first responders in the field are the personnel actually collecting the evidence for them to process. This is why the training of personnel in the field to ensure the correct collection of biological evidence is imperative to effectively prosecuting wildlife offenders. Wildlife Traxx Consultancy believes that the number of successful wildlife crime prosecutions will increase by providing incontrovertible evidence of wildlife crimes through the provision of modern forensic technology and proper training of rangers. The Sidekick Foundation® funded training for 40 of the Mara’s rangers in 2019 and provided 86 forensic kits to rangers in the field in order to fulfill our objective of increasing wildlife protection.
The Maa Trust
Working Toward a Harmonious Balance Between Conservation and Sustainable Human Development in the Maasai Mara
The Maa Trust is an independent non-profit organization that works towards ensuring the success of conservation through sustainable community development in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. They work in partnership with Maasai-owned conservancies and their neighboring communities to improve the lives of Maasai families in an environmentally sustainable way. The Sidekick Foundation® has provided funding support for their initiative to improve access to healthcare through the Aitong Health Project by providing the salary of a project coordinator to develop a comprehensive proposal for the project. We’ve also provided core funding for the youth empowerment and eco-social enterprise initiative called Maa Bricks. We provided the initial funding for them to buy the material to create their own bricks and train youth to run the program. The 38 youth who completed the Maa Trust Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSB) training program are the first trained ISSB block makers in the Mara. They will provide skilled labor to produce all the blocks required for future construction projects, such as schools, health facilities, TMT as well as affordable family housing. The projects lined up will ensure steady supply of work for the graduates who, depending on the number of bricks produced, will be earning between Kenya shillings 600-1000 per day. By collaborating with local communities, The Maa Trust along with the Sidekick Foundation® is ensuring the sustainability of the Maasai Mara ecosystem for generations to come.
Local Ocean Conservation
Develop and implement sustainable marine resource management models, utilizing sea turtles as a flagship species for local ocean health
A private, not for profit organisation committed to the protection of Kenya’s marine environment. Their vision is that the Watamu Marine National Park and a 10 km buffer zone is effectively managed according to Kenyan laws and a management plan to benefit local communities and commercial stakeholders utilizing natural resources sustainably. In 1997 a group of Watamu residents decided to take action against increasing human related threats on the marine environment. They were particularly concerned about nesting sea turtles who were unable to successfully lay their eggs due to beach developments and risk of poaching. A dedicated team from the local community patrolled the beaches day and night to protect the female sea turtles coming to nest, their eggs and their hatchlings. This team formalized their efforts with the launch of ‘Watamu Turtle Watch’, a programme which still operates under Local Ocean Conservation today. Watamu Turtle Watch quickly expanded to address another major threat to sea turtles, accidental bycatch in local fishermen’s nets, and in 1998 the Sea Turtle Bycatch Release Programme began to reduce sea turtle mortalities in the area. In 2002, recognizing a wider need for community involvement in marine conservation, the name “Local Ocean” was adopted to encourage people to look after their local marine environment. Imagine if everyone connected to coastlines all over the world looked after his or her own little patch of ocean – what a difference we could make together! Today Local Ocean Conservation continues to conduct practical conservation efforts as well as encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources through community development, education and campaigning. Want to find out how? Click here to learn more about Local Ocean Conservation’s work. The Sidekick Foundation® supported LOC’s work of Local Ocean Conservation to develop and implement sustainable marine resource management models, utilizing turtles as a flagship species for local ocean health.
Please note the Sidekick Foundation® does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding.