The fourth quarter began with Mara Elephant Project’s CEO Marc Goss and Director of Research and Conservation Dr. Jake Wall in the States finishing their fundraising tour, which you can find first half highlights of in the Q3 Supporter Report. On October 1, they met with Google on their campus in California and on October 2, they met with Vulcan and gave a Great Hall Speech to key staff within the organization. Both of these meetings were well received and helped MEP develop key relationships with technology partners on the cutting edge of software that can help MEP work smarter, faster and more efficiently. All of this culminated in Indianapolis, IN with a MEP fundraiser that took place on October 3. Thank you to Google, Vulcan and to the Angama Foundation for providing amazing wildlife photographs to be auctioned off at the event where MEP raised over $9,800 at the event.
MEP CEO Marc Goss and Director of Research and Conservation with the Vulcan staff.
In terms of grant news in the fourth quarter, MEP is happy to announce that the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has funded a second Mau De-Snaring Unit to increase the protection in the critical Mau Forest. This team was recruited in October, trained in November and deployed by the end of December. MEP received a grant in 2018 for ranger equipment from the Bently Foundation. We purchased 37 backpacks for rangers in October and distributed them, so they are deployed in the field (pictured left). We would like to thank the Bently Foundation for their support of MEP rangers over the last year. Also, thank you to the McCormick Family Foundation for supporting the protection of an elephant for three years in the Mau Forest. This newly collared elephant, Alice, has already provided critical data. Overall, in the fourth quarter MEP raised over $171,005.11 from individuals or organization donations. Thank you to Mary Woulfe for her generous gift of $20,000 and for including us in her legacy giving plan. We received a grant of $15,000 from the Horne Family Charitable Foundation in support of our anti-poaching and human-elephant conflict mitigation work, $1,500 from Carla Kessler, $1,000 from the Bentley Family Fund as well as contributions from Nicholas Lapham, the JE Fehsenfeld Family Foundation, the Bliss Family Foundation, Sidekick Foundation, Angama Foundation, Evan Rapoport, Taronga Conservation Society and Föreningen Försvara Elefanterna. Finally, Mara Elephant Project is pleased to announce a $10,000 grant from Elephant Cooperation that will be applied to a project in 2020. We’d also like to than SAWA for their continued support of MEP. Thank you to all of those mentioned and the many more individuals and organizations that supported us in December and through 2019.
The Angama Foundation hosted MEP’s Director of Research and Conservation on November 28 for the annual Greatest Maasai Mara grand prize event. MEP received a check of $20,300 from the Angama Foundation, which reflected their total support in 2019. Overall, in 2019, MEP had 138 entries, the most of any organization and we had one finalist in the top 10, Gurcharan Roopra. We were also delighted to announce that the Angama Foundation has approved a three-year grant to MEP of $90,000.
MEP Director of Research and Conservation Jake Wall accepting the check in Nairobi.
On Facebook, MEP received over $6,253 in donations in the fourth quarter. Our Giving Tuesday Facebook Fundraiser ran for one week and received $4,340 in donations from 24 people. We also had two additional fundraisers run by Lynda and Tricia, thank you to both, and to everyone who supported our efforts on Giving Tuesday.
MEP was featured in GeekWire magazine along with Wanderlust magazine. We were also included for best practices in community engagement in a publication from the National Geographic Society, featured in Corporate Knights magazine and Dr. Jake Wall was also featured in Trek Magazine. Finally, in December, MEP’s partner Seedballs Kenya was featured on CNN Africa with a cameo by MEP CEO Marc Goss.
Twende Porini took place in early November with Wilson Sairowua joining the kids at Asilia to present about Mara Elephant Project. In November, MEP CEO Marc Goss also participated in a tree planting ceremony alongside Kenya Forestry Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and Seedballs Kenya to highlight the green movement in the reclaimed areas of the Mau Forest. Speaking of, we received two seed ball donations this month totaling 35 kg of seed balls for MEP rangers to distribute in the Mara, thank you for donating.
MEP Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua presenting to Twende Porini kids.