There are two parts to Wild Art Philanthropy IRL (WAPI) - the art and the projects. The art revolves around a subscription model with a one-time payment that delivers exclusive art to members, whilst also bringing security to my family and allowing me to continue practicing and promoting wildlife artivism. The projects are the philanthropy element, and they are the subject of this particular blog.
When people buy in to WAPI, 50% is a pure donation, which we (myself & Wild Philanthropy) will invest in community conservation. Beyond simply restoring nature, our projects aim to also provide financial, cultural and education opportunities to the people who live alongside it. The Enonkishu Conservancy on the outskirts of Kenya's Masai Mara is the location of our first project. Here we are building on the work a women led collective, and an education initiative launched by children.
THE EMARTI FOREST
Deforestation is a big problem in Kenya, as forests are culled for short-term gains, like charcoal production. Such fragmentation of the land can cause conflict between people and wildlife when disorientated and hungry animals wander onto farmland.
Working with the ‘Women Tree Planters of the Mara’ we are planting both endemic and fruit trees. The former will provide a home for wildlife, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and help to prevent soil erosion and flooding, especially pertinent in an area that was previously farmland. The planting of fruit trees will support subsistence and provide income opportunities for local stakeholders. The first five WAPI investors will enable us to plant 10,000 trees and cover the upkeep for up to 5 years.
'SAVE OUR SAVANNAH' LIBRARIES
In 2021 a group of children in Kenya founded a project called 'Save Our Savannah', designed to help educate rural students about the value of wildlife conservation and improve their connectivity and resilience. They fundraised to convert old shipping containers into satellite libraries, kitted out with books, computers and solar powered Wi-Fi.
We are building on the amazing work of these children to create two new libraries, and a further five WAPI investors will help us to achieve this. We hope to use these libraries to educate children about wildlife conservation and deliver science and art workshops. Thanks to a kind donation from Derwent Pencils, these libraries will be stoked with art materials, allowing visiting students to explore their creativity.