My dear friend Albert Odar, one of Africa’s finest and most dedicated rangers, had died in a vehicle incident in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.
This accident happened two days ago and Albert was buried yesterday (Saturday) in his hometown Hoima, just south of his beloved park. Only a few mourners could attend due to the current COVID-19 crisis which is affecting Uganda too.
I’m sure many of you also feel like you know Albert. His remarkable life story, which I documented in October 2018, has since traveled around the world, leaving many in awe.
Now, my thoughts and prayers are with Albert’s family.
He leaves a wife and 8 kids behind, the youngest being only 4 years old.
THEY NOW NEED OUR HELP!
Since Albert was single-handedly taking care of their school fees among other financial demands, his family is in immediate need of support. And with the absence of social care, insurances, and pension, his entire family now risks becoming severely impoverished, after losing a husband and a father who was also the sole income earner.
Therefore I am reaching out to you!
With only a small contribution of EUR 5,- or EUR 10,- you can help to make sure his wife and kids are looked after, the necessary medical services are provided, and the school fees for his kids are covered.
I will personally make sure 100% of the funds are handed over to be managed by the Uganda Conservation Foundation , the organization that helped me in Uganda when I was first starting out to document Albert's story.
Thanks for reading this far. I am forever thankful, on behalf of Albert's family.
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Additional information can be found below.
Sadly enough this is not an isolated case. Every day, in many parks all around Uganda and beyond, lots of young, brave men and women are putting their own life at risk while protecting Africa’s threatened wildlife. To recognize this, the Uganda Conversation Foundation created ’The Uganda Fallen Ranger Fund’.
This fund was established to provide critical support, employment, and training to the widows and children of Ugandan rangers who have died in the line of duty. This means your support will not only directly ensure that Albert’s family is taken care of but it will also contribute to future incidents of ‘fallen rangers’. With your help, they will receive the assistance they need, when they need it most, in order to secure the future of their families and dependents after they are gone.
This morning I had a conversation with the Founder Trustee of the Uganda Conservation Foundation, Michael Keigwin, to understand more about the details regarding Albert’s tragic accident and to discuss the Fund. Here are some of his words:
'I have patrolled hundreds of kilometers with Albert, and never once did he back off from a challenge or danger. His trust in his fellow rangers, and love for and knowledge of the park was beyond belief. We will miss him terribly, and will attempt to live up to his high standards'.
And that’s exactly how I remember my time with Albert. In October 2018 I joined him on patrol in the Ugandan bush. For days we hiked through tall grass in the blazing heat, dodging wild animals and armed poachers. Albert had my back, all the time. And when I asked him why he chose to pursue a life full of danger, his answer seemed mind-blowingly simple:
“When I give up my friend, who else will protect these animals?”
Words that made an ever-lasting impression on me.
Yesterday we lost a true hero from the tough and often dangerous world of front line conservation. An incredible human being. An example to many.
RIP my friend.
I will miss you.
Until we meet again.
About Uganda Convervation Foundation (UCF):
UCF is a UK founded charity and Uganda-based non-profit which aims to safeguard natural heritage in and around Uganda. We work with Uganda Wildlife Authority, their partners and communities to achieve common goals in the protection of wildlife, development of communities, and enforcement of wildlife crime.
If you want to see Alberts full story ‘We shoot to scare, not to kill’, visit:
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