March 21st will mark the first anniversary of our upgraded ranger training academy here in Victoria Falls.
Throughout the past 12 months we have trained a number of recruits, with varying degrees of experience and backgrounds, and turned them into fully-fledged rangers, ready to tackle the task of securing Africa’s wildlife.
At the academy, we have also run specialist courses, including advanced medical training for members of local anti-poaching units, equipping them with medical kits to take back to their units.
Coinciding with the upgrades first birthday, our Green Army program will turn one year old in March. From humble beginnings this time last year, we have managed to grow the program into one of Africa’s most unique conservation activities for enthusiastic travelers from around the world. Participants are given the opportunity to get involved as much as possible, from patrolling and learning bush craft with our skilled rangers, to assisting and in some instances, running training exercises for our ranger recruits.
The experience is an unforgettable one, and several of the guys have returned for their second trip, spreading the word and bringing back their friends to take part.
For our part, Damien, James and myself have enjoyed seeing supporters returning home inspired and determined to assist with the hardships on the ground. They have donated various equipment, stores and supplies, and much needed funds, which has enabled us to continue the fight. It has been a humbling experience seeing the generosity of these individuals and it just drives us even more to achieve our goal, knowing we have so much positive support back home.
Let me take this opportunity from all of the IAPF staff to say thank you to everyone who has been out here and been a part of the Green Army. We hope to see you back here sometime soon.
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IAPF Operations manager