As a proudly South African organisation, we value our HERD community projects immensely. Without our local community, it would be impossible for us to operate successfully. The HERD Trust commits to being active within our local communities through education, awareness, and online communities.

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How HERD is Making a Local Impact

As Mother Teresa so eloquently put it, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” And at HERD, we firmly believe that every action has an impact, so we strive for that to be a lasting, positive impact.

Ultimately, we want to educate the world about the remarkable elephant species and the threats it faces. However, raising awareness about the essential conservation efforts undertaken by various organisations worldwide is a daily effort that begins with our local community.

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Employment Opportunities

Along with education, employment is one of the most powerful forces. By offering employment to our local community, we not only help those individuals fulfil a bigger purpose but give them the ability to support their families.

But it does not stop by simply filling a role. At HERD, we believe in upskilling through offering various opportunities for training and growth. We seek to empower and educate local communities on our conservation objectives. This, in turn, benefits sustainable economic and social development locally.

With our team of community members as elephant carers, we work to achieve long-lasting success, as being a carer is a career that spans decades.

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Influencing Our Direct Community

The Mpisi Primary School is located in our direct community, close to where our carers live. HERD’s relationship with the school aids in facilitating the role of our carers as leaders in their immediate society.

For example, Khensani Ngobeni, our first female elephant carer, represents HERD by conducting environmental education programmes at Mpisi and building lasting relationships with the teachers, students and parents.

Partnerships with Conservation International and Scouts form the base for lesson planning. HERD believes in creating a community of environmental stewards who protect their natural surroundings by building relationships that empower the community. Our efforts improve lives and the future of South Africa’s natural capital and wildlife.

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The JabuLadies Project

The JabuLadies project empowers local women, increasing their household income and promoting gender equality through equal opportunities.

Miriam Mahladisa is a long-time employee and ambassador for this project. She makes a difference by training ladies in our Hoedspruit community to participate in various endeavours, such as embroidery and elephant dung paper making.

HERD then purchases handmade products from these ladies, markets and sells them. This sustainable business model benefits all parties involved, successfully uplifting our local community while also sharing their creative talents with the world.

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Donate to our research

Elephant Research in Africa Empowers Our Initiatives

Without research, we will go about our initiatives blindly. That’s why it forms such a big part of what we do at HERD. Your donations empower us to do better each day, painting a brighter future for our gentle giants and their future as a species.

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Help Save Our Vulnerable Gentle Giants

We rely on incredible people like you to keep us going. Every cent counts, and no contribution is too small. HERD relies on public funding to cover the operational costs to care for and support elephant orphans and the rescued herd, so we really appreciate your support.

Elephant Tales Blog

Want to hear the latest and greatest stories about what the elephants are up to? No two days are the same, and they always amaze us with their distinctive personalities and acceptance of one another. Follow us this way for all the latest stories of what’s happening at HERD.