In September 2011, MEP was founded, with the generosity of the Sidekick Foundation, in partnership with the Government of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), community conservancies and Save the Elephants. This partnership model with both governmental and non-governmental organizations plus local stakeholders has enabled the organization to focus on a small number of key activities by leveraging the resources of its partners to traverse great areas, collar elephants, analyze collar data, and cut across political boundaries to improve the security of elephants and reduce the rate at which they are being killed illegally.
The Sidekick Foundation, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) public charitable organization in the United States, was founded in 2011 and set out to be a sidekick for the heroes of wildlife conservation and global humanitarian work. Sidekick’s vision is to protect and restore endangered and threatened wildlife species across the globe by encouraging the collaboration of world-class talent and local expertise. To date Sidekick has focused the majority of its efforts and funding on Mara Elephant Project combating the illegal killing of elephants by supporting boots on the ground initiatives to stop poaching and international organizations aimed at combatting the root causes behind the demand for ivory.
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 to better illustrate the findings of this groundbreaking study.