David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Known to many through the BBC series ‘Elephant Diaries’, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a conservation charity in Kenya that helps orphan elephants and rhinos (as well as other animals), has a veterinary and a de-snaring unit, and runs anti-poaching and community reach projects. Please check out their fabulous website!  Tanja is a long-term supporter and fosters a young bull elephant called Zurura, who fell into a ruby mine at the age of 6 weeks, but is now well on his way becoming a wild elephant again.  Zurura even has his own beautifully illustrated children’s book telling his story!

‘Children of the Destiny’ Project in Kitwe, Zambia

Tanja met Michael Carew on her travels in Zambia in 2007.  He is in the process of constructing orphanage in Kitwe, backed up by a trust (currently Michael is operating under the name ‘Liberty Africa Ministries’, a Christian registered organisation in Zambia).  On his 16.5 acre land, Michael is building  several cottages to house the orphans, a school, a health clinic and even a fish farm to help keep the project self-sustaining. It is also based on a community development model and offers employment to local people. The children’s village aims to break the poverty cycle for the children and give them skills to become productive adults who are not beggars or just consumers.

Having discovered nothing edible in his bucket, Zurura decided Tanja’s ponytail might be more delicious to eat... a slightly worrying moment!

Children at a compound near Lusaka, Zambia.  A white person, ‘mzungu’, especially one with long blonde hair, is somewhat of a novelty for these youngsters.  Note the little boy’s hat made out of a cardboard beer box!