“Nakutakia Wakati Nwema” meaning Enjoy Your Moment…



Background & Challenges

Tanzania is the thirteenth largest country in Africa and the 31st in the world, with a population of around sixty-three million. Renowned for its vast areas of wilderness and plains, dense forests, great lakes and Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is one of the oldest continuously habited countries on earth.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tanzania's stunning wildlife is among the most diverse and endangered on the planet, which acts as a mecca for tourists and hunters alike. After a period of political upheaval, Tanzania was granted independence in 1963 after joining the United Nations two years previously. Despite popular perceptions, Tanzania has a relatively strong economy which is largely dependent on agriculture, although mining, manufacturing and natural gas contribute a fifth of the nation's GDP.

Despite this, the multi-ethnic population faces many challenges, particularly in rural areas where communities are wholly reliant on farming for their income. It is estimated that over a quarter of the population lives in poverty, with almost half deemed to be poor. Conservation initiatives and a zero-tolerance approach have seen poaching figures decline by 70% over the past five years, but elephants, rhinos and big cats still attract game hunters and animal traffickers. The cost of protecting wildlife in Tanzania's 21 national parks is enormous and a considerable drain on national resources; despite the successes in recent years, there is still a requirement for significant third-party assistance to help support these endeavours.


BE11A JS Foundation's Contribution

Following a life-changing trip to Tanzania, the Founders of the BE11A JS Foundation fell in love with the Serengeti, which "opened their eyes in a magical way" to the wonders of this natural wilderness and its people. Renowned for the spectacular 'great migration', the Serengeti National Park comprises fifteen thousand acres and some of the most spectacular wildlife on earth. Staying in unfenced accommodation, the Founders were struck by seeing elephants, rhinos and big cats roaming in their natural habitat.

Meeting members of the displaced Maasai tribes originally from the Ngorongoro crater provided a different perspective on life and brought home the acute need for support to ensure their traditions continue to endure. The Foundation is funding the building of a well to provide the local people with fresh water and the skills required to use and maintain it.

Additionally, the Foundation is actively supporting the local armed rangers who are protecting the remaining rhinos in the hope that their numbers will continue to increase to herd (known as a crash) levels. Additional assistance is being provided to help run educational programmes designed to encourage local people to stop taking bribes from poachers. Such short-term gains pale into insignificance compared to the long-term benefits of conservation tourism, but the indigenous population need to recognise these opportunities first-hand.

The project is well underway, and the Founders are returning to the Serengeti during Christmas 2022 to monitor progress.


Project Updates – February 2023


Continued Support for the Rhino Population

The Founders of the BE11A JS Foundation duly returned to Tanzania over the Christmas and New Year Period in 2022 to monitor the progress of their three support projects for the local communities. Firstly, the Foundation’s contribution to helping the rangers protect the rhino population in the Serengeti was a bittersweet affair which brought home the stark realities of the dangers facing the rhino herds both from man and nature itself.

The Founders were delighted to find that the overall size of the population is growing steadily due in part to the Foundation’s financial contribution, which is helping to recruit more rangers. Sadly however, one recently born baby rhino succumbed to a fatal lion attack which highlighted the precarious balancing act of life in the bush for many species; as one might expect, the lion still remains top of the wildlife hierarchy.

The initial sadness was soothed by the news that another rhino had recently given birth, and the Founders were overwhelmed to witness mother, calf and father all grazing in their natural habitat, described as a “mind-blowing experience” by one of the Founders. Hopefully, this latest addition to the crash will survive in the secure environment which the Foundation’s patronage has helped to create.


Helping Two Children Learn the English Language

Secondly and on a purely human level, the Founders were delighted to be invited to spend a day with the Maasai tribe in the Ngorongoro crater region, which is indeed a great honour. After an arduous six-hour journey (each way) across the mesmerising plains, the Founders were again struck by the humble nature of the communities’ existence where they live without material possessions, wi-fi or the trappings of commercial culture and yet live the happiest of lives. Participating in tribal dancing with their hosts was a particular privilege and one that the Founders will never forget.

It is all too easy to assume that the indigenous population desire support to give them a more Westernised lifestyle, but this is definitely not the case. Although keen to support the local population, the Founders are acutely aware that any assistance must be provided on their terms. They do not want iPhones or laptops, but moreover, assistance in spreading the word regarding their holistic lifestyles and the intrinsic benefits it provides the community. With the community’s endorsement, the Foundation has agreed to sponsor two young children to learn English at a local school in order that they can communicate with the wider world as and when they choose.

It is worth noting that the tribe were completely free from any Covid infections even though they live exclusively off the land and blend their medicines from plants. Their appreciation of nature and their environment provides all of the resources they require to sustain meaningful and rewarding lives.


Providing a Family with a Water Facility

The logistical difficulties of building the water well described previously on this site have proved temporarily insurmountable, which has curtailed the project. As the local community is wholly dependent on the supply of fresh, clean water, the delay of the well project is something of a disappointment. By way of compensation, the Foundation has invested in a 5000-litre water butt to help a local family collect and store water which will, in turn, empower them to grow crops, earn money and improve their lifestyle as a consequence.

Delivered in January, this temporary solution will at least enable the family to thrive before a more permanent solution can be found. Given that the average wage is just $200 per month before taxes, the water butt will help provide a vital income stream for the family.

© Copyright 2022 BE11A JS Foundation

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