There’s still an opportunity to help conserve Zimbabwe’s wildlife through sponsorship and donations at the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching (VFAPU) Golf Day fundraiser in Harare on September 16 even though the field is full.
Businesses or individuals may sponsor holes in the event organised by hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) in which 34 teams will tee off for conservation at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club.
Alternatively, they may sponsor a scout or donate funds or equipment.
VFAPU head of operations Charles Brightman said the funds raised at this event are vital in ensuring that its operations continue, after a conservation crisis unfolded during the Covid-19 years when funding, which largely comes from tourism, dried up.
This is the first VFPAU Golf Day fundraiser since 2019, and Brightman appealed to supporters to dig deep to ensure to ensure their vital work protecting the wildlife and its habitat in one of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas continues.
“Every little bit helps us support the wildlife and habitats in the Victoria Falls region. We must protect our wildlife for our children’s future,” he said. “The wildlife needs your support.”
Against the odds last year alone, VFAPU scouts arrested 291 poachers, removed 550 snares and rescued and rehabilitated eight injured mammals, but sadly the carcasses of 56 mammals, including buffalo, lion, hyena and zebra were found. Most had been poached.
Goods donations welcomed by VFAPU include petrol, diesel, vehicle tyres, engine oil, hiking boots, medical supplies, GPS, digital cameras and batteries, he said.
Africa Albida Tourism chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “VFAPU is highly coordinated, very well organised and committed to conservation and saving wildlife, and Brightman has given an enormous amount of his time to it for more than 20 years.
“It is vital for all of us that this commitment is maintained and that we raise the funds to fully support the unit,” Kennedy said.
“AAT has been a lead supporter of VFAPU since the beginning, and in addition to holding the annual VFAPU Golf Day which generates its key source of funds, AAT sponsors five scouts through paying their salaries and medical aid,” he added.
“African Sun has generously committed to paying the salaries and medical aid of five scouts for a full year, and it would be wonderful if some forward funding could be found to sponsor more scouts in this way.”
The VFAPU Golf Day will also feature lunch, drinks, evening snacks and an auction, as well as some incredible prizes up for grabs including accommodation vouchers at Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Hotel and The Bronte Hotel.
Every dollar raised through the golf day goes directly to VFAPU, with AAT sponsoring the costs of the event.
Since VFAPU was established in 1999, the unit has arrested over 900 hardened poachers, removed more than 30,000 wire snares from their area of patrol and rescued over 400 mammals injured in snares, treating them and releasing them back into the wild.
VFAPU, which works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Victoria Falls City Council, operates in a 50kmsq area around Victoria Falls, and has 16 scouts patrolling 24 hours a day seven days a week.