We can’t start the new year properly without sharing our sincerest gratitude for the hearts and souls who supported us through the last year.
First on our list is our community. The incredible, hardworking, and dedicated HERD Carers and greater HERD team — from everyone on the ground, such as our homestead staff, to our admin and media team, and our essential suppliers and the larger community around us in Hoedspruit. We are only able to do what we do through HERD Trust because of you.
Over this next year, never forget the important role you play in creating meaningful, tangible change for the elephants, for conservation and the guardianship of our communities and environment. You make your mark and inspire us daily. To our friends reading this, share what you’re grateful for with us in the comments or on your social media, as we use these last few days of January to say THANK YOU, TATENDA, DANKIE.
Today we give thanks to the people who helped start HERD! Our founding partners who donated to the very literal building blocks of our NPO, through our 1000 HEARTS campaign which supported the building of the orphanage. It was a momentous occasion to see this dream come to life in 2019 as new orphans finally had a home of their own alongside a herd of their own species. Calves who had lost their families could now rehabilitate at their own pace and be introduced slowly to the elephants in the Jabulani herd.
We have seen immense success with this new form of integration, as both Khanyisa and Phabeni’s introductions have proved to be so much easier. We will share more information on Phabeni’s recent introductions this week, as well as shed more light on how different the orphanage introductions to the herd are compared to the integration process prior to the orphanage being built.
We really believe this is what South Africa needed, its own dedicated elephant orphanage and it’s through the help of our founding partners who understood and supported our vision that this dream could become a reality.
The 1000 Hearts who helped build our orphanage are displayed proudly on plaques between the nurseries and aquaponics, along with the names of those who funded the three elephant nurseries — Izindlovu Fund | Reclaimed Earth, Inc. | Ron Magill Conservation Endowment
Today we share our thanks to our very special and compassionate community of foster parents and donors! Everyone contributing to the care and support of the elephants at HERD Trust and the projects we run. Your hearts know no bounds. As a PBO and an NPO, we rely on public funding to do the work we do. You answer our fundraising calls and help turn our campaigns into real, on-the-ground positive change for the orphans and rescued herd. You as individuals are changemakers and your generosity shows us all that the world is still full of people who care.
Today we’d like to give thanks to the partners we work with for the betterment of the elephants and conservation as a whole — our wildlife vets, experts, advisors and peers in conservation who inspire us, who push us, and who teach us constantly. We are grateful to be able to lean on you when we need to, and to share our own support and inspiration with you, when you need us. Together, we go further.
We are grateful for those who help us spread the message of elephant conservation, and who support our message: Every Elephant Needs a Herd. Through visitors to our reserve in South Africa, witnessing the elephants at Jabulani Safari, and our incredible and loyal followers and supporters online, we are able to share the lives of the elephants and make a tangible difference. Thank you for every comment, share, like, and conversation, and to all the positive people we have been fortunate to cross paths with. We are thankful to have a community of elephant custodians caring for the animals, their home, and their future.
As we celebrate all that we are grateful for, we take a look now at our partners in education and research, the incredible people and little learners we have worked with to share awareness of elephant conservation. We are inspired by sharing our home with new visitors especially from schools, universities and community initiatives that strive to enlighten people about elephants and the wilderness. It is a vital part of our mission to work with different generations and local communities to spread the message of protecting our natural capital. Thank you to all who have helped us in this mission and joined us and the elephants on the ground, to be educated and inspired.
On this last day of our celebration of all that we are thankful for, we turn to the elephants… We are grateful for the hope they give us. For the lessons they teach us. And the journey we are able to walk with them. Thank you for celebrating this special HERD series with us, friends. We hope that your year ahead gives you plenty to celebrate and cherish.