Dear friends of the College,
If the first three months of the year flew by, the second three picked up even more pace. So much has happened as you will see from the departmental reports in this the second edition of the year. We also delayed the release of same to include the first visit of the CEO, Theresa Sowry and myself to Europe since 2019 after which the Covid-19 pandemic impacted all travel.
It has been such a joy meeting with donors and partners in London, Geneva and Zürich and did make one realise that whilst virtual meetings have become the norm, face-to-face contact cannot be replaced entirely.
Ironically, the first of our meetings with Robert Campbell, Programme Manager for The Royal Foundation/United for Wildlife in London had to once again be held virtually due to Covid-19. This was followed by meetings with Hanna Wood of the Optimus Foundation and with Dr Simon and Susie Thornton of Metamorphosis Foundation. Theresa then did a presentation on Regenerative Land Management/Grazing to Investec’s London office. This was followed by meetings with the Rufford Foundation where we were pleased to meet with Stuart Paterson the new CEO who has taken over from Terry Kenny, now a Trustee of the Foundation, and Simon Mickelburgh. Thereafter we met with Tusk Trust to further discuss the PACE programme as part of the proposed Sustainability for Education Hub and with Jamie McCullum of Peace Parks Foundation and Force for Nature before heading for Geneva. A whirlwind but very productive and informative two days.
In Geneva we were delighted to meet with Dr Claudio Segré and Alessandro Badalotti at Fondation Segré to discuss their support in meeting mutual objectives. This was followed by a meeting with Thierry Renaud following his recent appointment at Fondation Hans Wilsdorf after many years at Fondation MAVA. We then hopped onto a train to get to our final meetings in Zürich.
Here we met with long standing friend and supporter of the College, Charly Gräff whilst also connecting with Lesley McNutt from Coaching Conservation during the meeting. Our visit culminated in the annual Friends of African Wildlife Event at Haute where Theresa updated donors and friends on the work of the College. And what a wonderful event it was, once again giving us an opportunity to connect with people who are “part of it” and who have generously supported the College over the years. It also gave us time to meet with some new and interested parties and to also meet with Christoph and Bettina Weber, founder Trustees of Friends of African Wildlife and Board Member, following the event and before our final departure back to South Africa.
Please do enjoy some of the visuals taken during our visit. We also hope you enjoy reading about the work taking place across the board having now entered the third quarter of the year.
Until next time…