Friends of Africa International NGO supports wildlife conservation, education, environmental protection and cultural preservation initiatives, causes and projects that contribute to a sustainable, healthy and prosperous future for people, wildlife and natural habitats throughout the continent of Africa. Through volunteer efforts, public awareness campaigns, financial aid, collaboration and pooling resources with aligned organizations, Friends of Africa International endeavors to create sustainable opportunity and facilitate favorable conditions that support our a long-range vision toward maintaining ecological balance, upholding human dignity and inspiring peace on a global scale.
Friends of Africa International NGO envisions a sustainable, healthy and prosperous future for the developing nations of Africa, which can lead to a brighter future for all of Earth’s inhabitants.
It is no longer possible to preserve culture, protect natural wilderness or expect indigenous people to stop poaching or get behind conservation when they have life-threatening security issues. Security will remain their primary threat as long as there is no education or means to survive — i.e. access to food, water or medical care. Without these essentials, indigenous people are vulnerable to external forces such as religious extremists that are arming marginalized people with weapons and educating them with extremist ideals, foreign prospectors extorting natural resources, missionaries and immigrants forcing new cultural norms, new land encroachments that force nomadic people to settle and introduction of unsustainable farming practices which contribute to deforestation, water contamination and drought.
These intrusions coupled with population growth and ensuing modernization are destabilizing cultural heritage that comprises the fabric of traditional nomadic life and creating adverse conditions that lead to an increase in poverty, tribal violence, slaughter of wildlife for bush-meat and proliferation of highly sophisticated (and profitable) poaching operations, which obviously pose the greatest threat to conservation.
These conditions have also adversely impacted tourism that would otherwise help to support local economies and provide revenues needed to expand national parks that preserve wildlife and protect natural resources. Mitigating humanitarian threats and stabilizing embattled or marginalized regions would make it safer to re-introduce tourism, which will improve opportunity for culture and wildlife to thrive and prevent further destruction of delicate eco-systems, interruption migration paths and encroachment of diminishing wildlife habitats.
By improving human conditions with education, medical access and other sustainable development initiatives, we can provide a new foundation for wildlife conservation, environmental protection and preservation of cultural heritage that works in this current global paradigm.
This is our vision for the future of Africa.
History of Friends of Africa International
Friends of Africa International was founded on January 3, 1988, and incorporated as Friends of Africa in Aspen, Colorado, by Bonnie Bishop and Scarlett Adams, and a group of compassionate individuals who share a keen interest in the welfare of Africa, particularly pertaining to environmental and wildlife conservation, cultural preservation and education. Each had visited Africa and agreed that there was room for yet one more grass-roots organization that could find creative ways to promote various conservation, education and cultural projects in Africa, as well as initiating various programs in the U.S. to further our mission. In the late 1980s, co-founder Bonnie Bishop established a permanent retail establishment, Utamaduni, in a suburb of Nairobi called Langata for the purpose of raising additional funds for various Friends of Africa International projects and for the Kenya Wildlife Service, then operated by Dr. Richard Leaky. The Aspen group continued to raise awareness in the U.S. and hosted multiple fundraising events and exploratory field trips to Africa.
By the mid-2000s, Friends of Africa had established multiple projects and affiliates in Africa, and in 2001, trademarked its name, Friends of Africa International.
In 2009, Friends of Africa International recognized a humanitarian crisis in the Pokot region bordering the Turkana area. An enthusiastic group in Scottsdale, Arizona formed a second chapter of Friends of Africa International there. The Scottsdale chapter, lead by co-founder Bonnie Bishop, initiated what remains one of Friends of Africa International’s priority projects: enabling peace in the embattled Pokot region by building the area’s first schools and only medical clinic. The goals include improving quality of life in the region by installing crucial infrastructure such as water wells, school dormitories, residences for visiting doctors and nurses and an air strip for medical transports and supplies.
In 2011, Bishop formed the Nairobi chapter of Friends of Africa International, and the organization was then registered as a Non-Governmental Organization to facilitate its charitable work in Kenya. In March, 2012, the first school to serve Pokot children in the Ng’aina area of Kenya was built. Today, Friends of Africa International is seeking additional funds to complete the project, starting with the urgently needed medical clinic, which will provide healthcare and educational programs regarding sanitation, family planning, safe water, and prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other preventable diseases.
In 2015, Under the leadership of Chairman Bonnie Bishop, the Scottsdale chapter formed a separate nonprofit entity, Friends of Africa International NGO, specifically to support activity of the Kenya-registered Friends of Africa International NGO and Friends of Africa International Trust. In partnership with Beyond Zero, the mobile clinic initiative of Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, and with Project C.U.R.E., a U.S. based 501c3 organization that delivers donated medical supplies and equipment to developing nations, Friends of Africa International NGO is focused on building critical medical infrastructure in Kenya.
Today we continue to uphold our original vision: to increase awareness about the conservation, ecological and cultural issues facing the African continent and work toward achieving sustainable balance between the environment, wildife and human populations in Africa. Friends of Africa International also continues to provide assistance to fledgling Africa-based NGO’s struggling to survive in the global community, and provide a platform for their causes, and by facilitating tax-deductible donations from international donors and offering multiple means to increase awareness globally.
Donations made to Friends of Africa International are tax-deductible pursuant to IRS code 170. Please consult your tax advisers for additional information. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated for generations to come.
Friends of Africa International, NGO Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
Friends of Africa International NGO
8711 East Pinnacle Peak Rd., PMB 352
Scottsdale, Arizona 85255
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