OPERATION GIANT STRIDES
OPERATION GIANT STRIDES – EMPOWER THE LIVES OF ANTI-POACHING WILDLIFE RANGERS IN EAST AFRICA
ASKED WHAT THEY WANTED FIRST AND FOREMOST 95% OF THE WILDLIFE RANGERS TOLD ME THEY
DESPERATELY NEEDED TO INCREASE THEIR EDUCATION AND THAT OF THEIR CHILDREN –
TO ENSURE A BETTER AND SELF-SUSTAINING FUTURE.
After spending time embedded on the ground with Anti-Poaching, Wildlife Rangers near Kilimanjaro and, having won their
confidence I formed a close connection with these brave men and I got to know their challenges and dreams. Soon, they
welcomed me into their homes and as I got to know their families, the struggles they faced and their individual stories were revealed. A warm, spontaneous and life embracing people, they asked for nothing, and the Rangers (encouraged by their
wives and family) do a thankless job, which they surely love - whilst also trying to support and maintain the household.
I wanted to contribute somehow, but in an effective way that contributed towards an evolving and sustainable future.
The solution emerged one night during conversation, whilst the Rangers and I cooked a meal after a particularly long
and arduous day tracking.
The Rangers wanted to increase their professional skills and be able to communicate with conservationists across borders. It is the only way these Rangers can maintain a lasting affect in protecting endangered wildlife such as elephants. It was a
great objective but, we were a far cry from the developed world, and I wondered how I could best and effectively help
I started by introducing the Rangers through images and short stories but, it was a mammoth task that needed far more
momentum. In a nutshell I needed to pack a bag and take their story to the United Kingdom. This however had its
drawbacks for if the truth be known, life in the UK comes as naturally to me as an elephant migrating to the North Pole. Its
simply down to where your heart and instinct is.
My journey here in the UK has been an incredible learning curve and in many ways has been far more challenging than
almost anything I have faced in my life in Africa. I've faced hurdles and, for the first time in a long while I've had to
dig deep for a strength and faith far greater than I had in myself.
I had to extend my reach for the Rangers and so my website www.photography4life.org began in earnest. It provides insight
and details regarding my time with Rangers both in Tanzania and in Kenya (my place of birth and home).
Initially www.photography4life.org attracted interest in East Africa (prior to me coming over to the UK) and Ranger Issack and Commander John Magembe attended basic courses in English at a local college - but it fell short of accomplishing the
standards and levels expected.
Fast-track forward and I have now, I have launched ‘’OPERATION GIANT STRIDES’ in the UK for the sole purpose of:
1. Raising funds for the first of many Rangers to participate in specialised courses designed specifically for their needs
2. Raising awareness and initiate valuable links in the UK to positively promote the Rangers and their objectives
3. Raising support for my volunteer work as a photo-journalism on the ground in East Africa - reporting about effective
conservation linked with community development
WHAT 'S NEEDED & WHEN:
My target here is to raise £5000; following guidelines leading up to the registration of my charity in the
The fundraising campaign is called 'OPERATION GIANT STRIDES' and is specifically geared towards sending 2 Wildlife
Rangers from the Enduimet, Kilimanjaro area of Northern Tanzania on a specialised Communications and English course,
specially designed to meet their professional requirements and challenges.
Plans are set for the course to begin mid February, 2019.
I will also continue with my photo-journalism. Bringing rare coverage and insight into the efforts and activities of these
dedicated Wildlife Rangers.
WHAT MAKES THIS DIFFERENT?
The Team Member page of my website is full of our details. But here I would like to specifically introduce Audra DiMambro- Founder and Director of ‘Winds of Africa’ Organisation, who designed the courses for Wildlife Rangers stationed at the
Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti. Audra comes from the USA (where she lives with her husband and partner
Tony), and she comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge of East Africa (especially Tanzania). Audra’s speciality
however is in operating highly successful courses in communication and English, which she has managed for the past
I had the pleasure of meeting Audra shortly after I started accompanying the Wildlife Rangers of Enduimet, but it was not
until I visited one of her classes that I fully realised just how unique and effective her courses really were. Dedicated to
only a handful of Rangers at one time; the course instils confidence and truly illustrates just how effective, good
communication is out in the field. In addition it allows the Rangers to confidently communicate with conservationists and associated initiaitves on a global level – and that’s quite something.
Audra and I are working closely on ‘OPERATION GREAT STRIDES’ as I communicate with the Rangers and their
HOW CAN YOU HELP
Please consider contributing a few pounds towards my fundraiser. Every penny counts. Pennies will quickly mount. Please also visit my Facebook page:
IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU HAVE READ HERE:
Please spread the word like crazy and stay in touch. Visit our website for up and coming news about alternative fundraisers including great Christmas shopping. Also join our Facebook page:
ON A FINAL NOTE:
Both myself and my team have strong ties to East Africa, and in most cases (including myself) were born and call East Africa home.
I also strongly believe that our joint experience in wildlife, conservation, community development and responsible tourism make us ideally suited for launching this project.
We are a small organisation with minimal overheads and direct involvement on the ground. This is a huge contributing
factor when it comes to effectiveness, including costs, and being in touch with the realities involved.
A BREAKDOWN OF REVISED COSTS FOR 'OPERATION GIANT STRIDES' (Phase 1):
3 Wildlife Rangers on the next course = £4000
Equipment and Course material = £200
Contribution towards Base Camp, Vehicle Maintenance and Ground Operations = £800
This appeal is to ask you to help us get 3 more Wildlife Rangers into these wonderful courses designed and managed by 'Winds of Africa,' and specifically tailored for these brave men. The most conscientious and committed, high performance Rangers are rewarded with these courses, and in doing so you are directly helping protect African elephants lives.
I will also be returning to join the Rangers I have grown to know so well, and catch up with all their news to share with you all. My trip is planned for February 2019 and a portion of this Appeal (15%) will go towards this photojournalism and my airfare to go out and rejoin the Rangers for 4 weeks. A guest videographer will be joining me. In addition, my time back with the Rangers will also be spent with their superiors - so we can plan the next stage of OPERATION GIANT STRIDES and invite some Rangers over to the United Kingdom to meet you all and share their story. Something very unique indeed.
All of the work we do is voluntarily and we receive no rewards for what we do - except for joy of doing it.
'Kenya born' this is a passion and life long commitment. As an East African passport holder and very much a 'bushbaby'' I will continue pushing to help make a lasting and empowering difference in the fight to save Africa's elephants - bringing communities and wildlife successfully together.
Thank you for your time and and kind contributions to 'Operation Giant Strides'. I will keep you posted.
Sante Kabisa (huge thanks) Coll Hogg