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Phinda Wildlife Research Project: 28 November - 12 December 2023*  

Wayne Grieveson: stars at night in the Okavango

Christmas fundraising!

As we are now in the full swing of the festive season, many of our volunteers are working hard to raise funds for their conservation placements next year.

It is a great time to start planning and organising a placement with ACE or to get involved in fundraising activities for your placement if it is booked. Ideas such as making Christmas cards, presents and decorations are all great fundraising methods, and if you have a particular artistic flair, this is a great time to use it!

Some volunteers have already been working hard in the run-up to Christmas with fundraising events such as Philippa Shelton…

“On the 1st of December, I held a stall at my school's Christmas market. I raised a total of £150 by selling beanie babies, having a raffle and through the game 'Splat the Rat'. The children loved the jungle theme I had decorated the room with, and as they looked around or played the game, I was able to tell parents and teachers of my plans with African Conservation Experience. I have organised a placement to spend four weeks volunteering at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre and this event has given me my first boost of fundraising money. It was a great morning and I hope I will have other opportunities like this to fundraise.”

Rachael Pfeiffer-Brown, who will be volunteering with ACE for 3 months in September 2008 organised a “Chocolate for Chocoholics” party as part of her fundraising, where you can sample delicious chocolate goodies and buy chocolate for all occasions!

With some spare time over Christmas and with family and friends around to help, it’s also a fun time to start organising and planning your fundraising events.

Jonathan Noades raised over £370 for his trip earlier this year…

“The first was a Superheroes disco for some children aged 7-11, all from Sancton Wood Junior School in Cambridge. Each child paid £5, and in return, they enjoyed music and lots of games as well as some food and drink. Prior to this event, I showed the children a presentation in an assembly on what I would be doing in Africa, and how they would be helping to contribute to the Tuli Project I went on. The music was provided by my dad, who is an ex-DJ, so no expense there and the food and the drink I was able to get for half the price, thanks to the supermarket I work for. I only had to spend a bit more money on certain materials for the games and some small prizes but otherwise, I came away with £200! As a further thank you to the children for their support, I wrote them a couple of letters whilst I was at Tuli and gave them a presentation on the trip with plenty of fantastic photographs, on my return! This was a great success, and points out that by giving a little you can get a lot in return. Plus I had some fun on the way!!!

My other fundraising idea I executed was not as interesting, but very successful. The supermarket I worked for offered me a prize of £25 in gift vouchers which I could raffle off. I charged £1 a ticket to colleagues, friends and family and raised an amazing £370.”

Christmas can also be an excellent opportunity to ask friends and family to contribute towards elements of your conservation placement, such as perhaps looking at some items from the kit list for Christmas presents. Some websites also allow friends and family to contribute online towards a placement. You can try websites such as www.senduspacking.com. It is an ideal way for distant family members and friends to give gifts which they know will be gratefully received, while they are also, through you, contributing to the conservation of wildlife in Southern Africa.

Merry Christmas from all at African Conservation Experience!