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Earth Angels Destination Change documents David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's (DSWT) Orphans' Project in Kenya, East Africa.

Earth Angels aim in producing this documentary is to draw global awareness to the passionate work that David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is undertaking to compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. While Earth Angels will make our own donations during the making of this film, our wish is to also make organizations and individuals around the world aware that they too can help by simply donating to the special causes that we'll be focusing on in this film.

100% of the proceeds made from the distribution of this film will also be donated to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

PART 1 - INTRODUCTION

Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.

To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.

The success of DSWT’s Orphans’ Projects is due to the assistance of many organizations and individuals, but particularly to the support of the Trust’s Fostering Programme.

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PART 2 - ELEPHANT ORPHANS

Earth Angels will foster elephant orphans at a time when extra funding is needed most.

When a tiny new-born elephant is orphaned, it is often because its mother and family have been killed to serve the brutal ivory trade. For an elephant, family is all important; a calf’s very existence depends upon its mother's milk for the first two years of life.

In Kenya an Elephant Nursery exists nestled within Nairobi National Park under the auspices of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is overseen by Angela Sheldrick, whose elephant experience spans a lifetime. This pioneering organisation, which works in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service offers hope for any orphaned elephant fortunate enough to be found alive.

Baby Kauro is Rescued (May 2014) Tiny Kauro was found having fallen down a well and had been mauled by a small predator nearby. His damaged trunk was a challenge as not only was the tip severed altogether but he had a number of holes in his trunk from the predator's teeth which were very painful. The DSWT Rescue Team attend to Kauro and transport him back to the Nairobi Nursery.

Rearing an infant elephant is an expensive and long-term commitment during the time it is dependent upon milk and a team of trained carers who represent the lost elephant family and are there for the little elephant until such time as it is comfortable amongst the wild herds and chooses to become independent. The time involved depends entirely upon the personality of each individual and also upon how well the elephant can recall its elephant family, but all the orphans reared by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are "elephants" again and integrated into the wild community by the age of ten, though always in their large elephant hearts will be a corner for the specific humans who were their family in infancy.

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PART 3 - THE ANTI-POACHING PROJECT

For over fifteen years the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been involved in funding and operating mobile de-snaring and anti-poaching units formed to meet the challenges threatening the wildlife and environment of the Tsavo National Parks (20,812kmsq). Today, severe threats to the environmental stability of the area include elephant and rhino poaching for ivory and horn, bushmeat snaring for large scale trade, illegal logging of forested areas, charcoal burning and livestock intrusion.

Today the DSWT deploys eight full-time anti-poaching units, which patrol the sensitive boundaries of the greater Tsavo Conservation area (48,656kmsq) on foot and by vehicle, whilst working deep within Tsavo East and West National Parks, the Chyulu Hills National Park, the Kibwezi Forest Reserve and bordering private and community ranches in pursuit of illegal activities.

These skilled frontline teams, which are equipped with vehicles, camping equipment, radios, GPS’s and cameras, are making a significant difference in deterring, prosecuting and preventing poaching snaring and other crimes within this huge wildlife habitat.

Every month each unit confiscates countless snares, destroys numerous charcoal kilns and poaching structures, whilst arresting many poachers and wildlife offenders. 

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PART 4 - AERIAL SURVEILLANCE UNIT

The DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit works in tandem with these ground patrol teams so as to achieve these results, whilst working together with the DSWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit in locating and treating a rising number of elephants and other wild species injured through poaching and bush-meat snaring activities.

All anti-poaching operations are undertaken with the close cooperation of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), whilst each mobile unit is accompanied by armed KWS Rangers at all times who have the powers of arrest. Every DSWT ranger has graduated through the KWS’s Manyani Law Enforcement Academy, having completed an intensive 3-month Community Ranger Training Program following a diverse curriculum incorporating Human-Wildlife Conflict and Mitigation Measures, Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Capture, Arrest and Weaponry, amongst a variety of field based skills including Field Survival and GPS Mapping.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Aerial Unit consist of four aircrafts, a Supercub, two Topcubs and a Cessna 185, complemented by a Hughs MD 500 Helicopter. All these aircraft are ideally suited for low-level aerial monitoring and surveillance. Based from the Trust's Kaluku Field Headquarters adjacent to Tsavo National Park, these aircraft fly primarily throughout the Tsavo Conservation Area in support of The Kenya Wildlife Service and DSWT anti-poaching and veterinary ground teams.

PART 5 - VOLUNTEER WORK (THE REASON WHY NOT)

Many well-wishers contact the Trust with offers of hands-on help. Whilst we appreciate such offers enormously, we very much regret that voluntary work in Kenya is not easy, and especially so with our orphaned animals, for the following reasons. Firstly, only the elephant and rhino Keepers, who literally replace the orphans' lost family, and must be prepared to be "family" for up to ten years, may do the hands-on work, since even voluntary work in Kenya by a foreigner requires a Work Permit. Since the orphans are ostensibly the property of the Government, we have to be careful to abide by the rules, added to which the country has a burgeoning population and mass unemployment, so any work done by an outsider is also viewed as having deprived a needy Kenyan of an occupation that would at least keep him or her off the streets.

PART 6 -  ADOPT A SCHOOL (WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP)

For over a decade the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Community Outreach Programs have been vital in building sustainable relationships with the local communities bordering Kenya’s National Parks and wildlife protected areas. These successful programs strive to improve living conditions and educational standards, encouraging communities and the next generation to protect their wildlife and environment. The following initiatives are essential components in the Trust’s approach to long-term wildlife protection, each requiring sustainable financial support in order to continue achieving great results. There are so many ways to help, Earth Angels will focus on an all-inclusive program and 'Adopt A School'.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s ‘Adopt A School’ Program is an all-inclusive education initiative combining desk donations, sports equipment, wildlife shows, field trips and tree nursery programs, all dedicated to an individual school. This initiative has been established in the knowledge that it is only through educating and empowering today’s children that any long term future can be secured for Kenya’s wildlife and the environment. Anyone can adopt a school for USD$4,800 and provide children with every element of our educational program, delivered by our trained Anti-Poaching Units in an engaging and sustainable way, achieving great results.

Your donation of USD$4800 will provide a selected school with the following:

  • 50 desks at a total cost of USD$3,000 (USD$60 per desk).

  • Desk delivery at a cost of USD$200.

  • 2 Field trips at a total cost of USD$700 (USD$350 per trip).

  • Sports Equipment at a total cost of USD$800.

  • Mobile Cinema show at a cost of USD$100.

In return for your kind donation, you will be given feedback from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust about the school that you have adopted. This feedback will be in the form of photos and updates.

You also have the opportunity to visit your adopted school in Tsavo, Kenya, should you plan a trip to personally see where your contribution has gone, and meet the children whose lives your generous donation has helped to change.

While on location, Earth Angels having adopted a school, will visit an existing school and deliver desks to the school, watch a wildlife show with the children and hand out sports equipment to the children, while telling the story so that millions of other people around the world become aware that they can do the same to help.

CREATIVE TEAM ATTACHED

The independently operated multi award winning filmmakers, talent and crew Earth Angels Agency and MAAT have partnered with, have created films that have been nominated for Academy Awards, won multiple Emmys, have been a huge force in the largest film festival market including top awards at Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and Toronto. Their films and TV projects have screened in theatres, television networks, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, globally as well as at The White House, The Pentagon, The Vatican, DAVOS and universities around the world.