by J. Lee
Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation was founded in 2015 by Coe Lewis, President and Director of U.S. operations and ‘Victory’ Victoria Wallace, President and Director of Zambian operations.
Nsefu is a 501(c)(3) organization. They use 100% of their donations for anti-poaching and community outreach. Their ten board members are not paid a salary. Nsefu is a Zambian word for “eland”, which is a type of antelope in that region.
The San Diego Union Tribune Coe Lewis Interview: Saving the World’s Animals, One Species at a Time
Question: Why is your organization focused on ending poaching?
Their purpose and use of funds can be broken down in two parts:
- 50% for wildlife, anti-poaching and research
- 50% for community projects, bee keeping, sewing, conservation, education and supporting a local school
Nsefu: The non-profit, charitable Nsefu (pronounced Ne-Se’-Fu) Wildlife Conservation Foundation was established in 2015 to stop poaching and to protect wildlife in the game-rich Nsefu sector of Zambia, Africa.
They have accomplished a lot since 2015. They are confident the future holds unlimited possibilities and self-sufficiency.
Nsefu Mission – Providing the means for protecting, preserving and safeguarding endangered species. The organization also plans programs for the self-sustaining of communities outside of (as an alternative to) participating in the blood money derived from poaching wildlife for sale on the black market.
Photos from the Nsefu website: Photo 1 & 2 Elephants within the Nsefu sector, Photo 3 Map of the Nsefu sector, Photos 3 & 4 Children at school, Photo 5 Nsefu park ranger Photo 6 Rangers in their new patrol boat. Per Coe Lewis regarding the school: “Built in honor of my beloved father….Robert Lewis”
On Jan. 13, 2017, I was invited by my friend Coe Lewis to attend a board meeting to learn more about Nsefu and to write a story.
In attendance were Coe Lewis, Victory and David Wallace, Tony Hunstiger, Christine Rhoads, Michael Krival, Roger Garay, Connie McGaughy, Rich Robinson, Bill Huth, Michael Peterson (guest) and myself (guest).
Coe opened the meeting thanking volunteers. She introduced guests. Her and Tony discussed finances.
Victory gave a Zambian overview. She reported on their anti-poaching patrols. Due to an increase of poaching any help from Nsefu and other organizations in the area are greatly appreciated.
Poachers kill elephants for tusks, rhinos for horns, hippos for tusks and teeth and giraffes for hides and food. If poaching is not stopped animals could become extinct.
She proposed the idea for rangers to use dirt bike motorcycles to chase poachers in rugged areas where vehicles have limitations. In addition to motorcycles, they would like to acquire at least one more 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Chabwella School moved from teaching in huts to an actual classroom. More desks just arrived. Learning conservation through education is the first step to end the loss of wildlife. Every month they will have a speaker to enhance wildlife education. Students will wear Jr. Ranger uniforms. Each month some students will be chosen for a park tour.
NSEFU’s Chabwela School Fund to buy school desks, supplies, and education for 120 students – One of NSEFU’s key initiatives is community outreach and EDUCATION. If taught from early childhood why it is so important to protect their treasured wildlife and resources, the community will be committed for life to stop the poaching. To that end, the Chabwella School was born!
The goal of the sewing center is to make it profitable in 1-2 years.
Short term goals:
- Produce a bag that would consist of sanitary pads/panty liners
- Make school uniforms
Long range goals:
- Employee uniforms
- Make and sell uniforms for other schools
- Create bags, clothing and products for sale
Several companies are helping the Nsefu section. She spoke about two companies:
- Bio-Carbon Engineering is a global company dedicated at stopping deforestation and providing carbon credits. During a meeting beekeeping was discussed. At that time they suggested Be Sweet Bees.
- Be Sweet Bees pledged to give 971 bee hives to the Nsefu communities. Nsefu will work with the CRB (Community Resource Board) in distribution of donated bee hives. The goal is to give local farmers a source of income so they no longer need to poach. The other impact is keeping elephants away from farms. Elephants do not like bees.
Nsefu: Bee hives keep elephants out of villagers’ crops that proved successful. Using bee hives for this purpose does two things; 1) keeps relationships between the villagers and elephants good, as there will be no crop destruction and 2) gives each person who employs this method income from honey.
Their goal is to acquire two parcels of land. One parcel will be used for a community building that would be close for the women to walk to. Another parcel will be used for a new ranger station.
Christine spoke about grants, the school desk project, specific objections and general management systems.
Christine and Connie spoke about marketing and fund raising. They brought items to be sold for revenue generation. They mentioned bake sales and car washes. They spoke about projections and measuring effectiveness of fund raising.
Bill spoke about the website.
Michael (guest) spoke about creating documentaries with a relative that could be posted on the website and on youTube. He is a military veteran. He feels that he can recruit other veterans as volunteers. He suggested watch towers in Zambia located at corridors to deter poachers.
I had some ideas when Victory discussed motorcycles. I have a passion for motorcycles and backseat riding. I love my biker family. I am aware first hand how generous bikers are for good causes. Before business was concluded, I asked if I could briefly share some ideas. I offered to help, but also stressed I might need help.
Elephants are Worth 76 Times More Alive Than Dead: Report: Ivory from a poached elephant sells on the black market for about $21,000. A living elephant, on the other hand, is worth more than $1.6 million in ecotourism opportunities.
I wrote about wildlife conservation, trophy hunting and poaching. Nsefu was featured in both stories.
My story from June 28, 2017: Wildlife Conservation And Protection – The Destruction Of Trophy Hunting – Nsefu was included in this story.
My story from July 6, 2017: Wildlife Poaching And Smuggling In Africa And Asia – The Fight To Prevent Extinction – Nsefu and Global March for Elephants was included in this story.