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Announcing Empowers Africa
2019 Auction Grants 

Empowers Africa hosted its annual gala event, “Ensuring Survival: Honoring Africa’s Ape Crusaders”, on April 11th, 2019 at The Explorers Club in New York City.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our annual fundraising event a success, particularly our Platinum Sponsor, Chairs, Vice Chairs, Committee, auctioneer, all of you who helped to push the bidding up on our safari lots and, of course, those who ended up winning!

In total, with proceeds from ticket sales, donations and trips, we raised nearly USD 200,000 for organizations we support across Africa, all of which are dedicated to supporting wildlife conservation and human empowerment.

We are thrilled to have raised such a fantastic amount and are now delighted to announce where the individual grants will be directed.

The Kametei Foundation

Asilia’s grant will be given to The Kemetei Foundation, a non-religious charity that gives assistance to bright students who don’t have the means to further their education. The Kemetei Foundation supports these promising students with scholarships. Assistance is given primarily for courses that fall into the tourism and teacher training categories.

Wilderness Wildlife Trust

The grant for the Wilderness Safaris trip will go toward the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, an independent, non-profit entity that supports a wide variety of programs across Africa. This year's grant will address the needs of existing wildlife populations, seek solutions to save endangered species, and provide education and training for local people and communities in the areas they operate in.

Time + Tide Foundation 

The grant for Time + Tide will go toward the Time + Tide Foundation in Zambia and Madagascar, which works to relieve protected African habitats from the human pressures that compromise biodiversity. This is achieved by investing in social and economic projects that residents identify as important for community enrichment and that harmonize with conservation priorities. The Time + Tide Foundation’s projects in Zambia include funding for Liuwa Plains Sibemi Community School's environmental education programs in the South Luangwa, among others. Time + Tide Foundation’s projects in Madagascar includes community health outreach, crowned lemur conservation and support for young Malagasy scientists.

Sabi Sand Nature Conservation Trust

Cheetah Plains South Africa’s grant will go toward Sabi Sand Nature Conservation Trust. The Trust is tasked with undertaking all conservation and anti-poaching initiatives in the Sabi Sand Reserve and the funds will be used to support the Trust’s ongoing efforts and programs. The Sabi Sand Nature Conservation Trust helps to conserve the fauna and flora in the area and preserve the area as a wildlife sanctuary. All lodges in the greater Sabi Sand area are involved in environmental management such as alien plant control, combating erosion, monitoring wildlife, anti-poaching and fire control.

Inzalo Community Project

The grant for Thornybush will go to the Inzalo Community Project’s Utah Garden, one of the greatest success stories of the program. The Project is run by volunteer mothers who sell the fresh produce to lodges in the Sabi Sands area. The garden also contributes to the feeding program at the adjacent primary schools and provides food parcels for the women who work in the garden. 

Singita Malilangwe Trust

The grant for Singita in Zimbabwe will be going toward the Singita Malilangwe Trust. The Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is set on 150,000 acres of wilderness in the southeastern corner of Zimbabwe, bordering Gonarezhou National Park. Malilangwe remains virtually untouched by humankind and occupies a key position in an area that is potentially one of Africa’s largest bio-refuges. The Trust supports various environmental and social initiatives, including rhino conservation, education centers for local communities surrounding the Reserve, and a child supplementary feeding program. 

The Desert Lion Project 

Natural Selection’s grant will go to support The Desert Lion Project. The lions in northwest Namibia are a uniquely desert-adapted population that survive some of the most challenging conditions faced by this species: water-stressed desert environments, highly variable prey base, and human conflict. The Desert Lion Project has been documenting the near disappearance and slow recovery of these rare desert-adapted lions in northwest Namibia for over two decades. To combat the rise of conflict with livestock herders, the project is implementing an automatic monitoring and early warning system that hopes to prevent further conflict with livestock herders. Using new satellite collars and communications software, the system warns farmers of nearby lions so herders can corral livestock and prevent predation.
Singita Grumeti Fund

Operating in an exclusive reserve on the western side of the world-famous Serengeti National Park, the Singita Grumeti Fund benefits human empowerment projects in the area, including education and scholarship programs as well as small business development. The proceeds from the auction to Sabora Tented Camp and Faru Faru Lodge, both situated in the Grumti Reserve, will go to support these efforts.

Singita Community Development Trust

Singita South Africa and Tanzania’s grant will go toward The Singita Community Development Trust for human empowerment projects such as scholarship programs and small business development. In partnership with non-profit funds and trusts who implement strategic conservation projects in each region, Singita is preserving and protecting pristine land and existing wildlife populations and helping to create economic independence within communities that live alongside the reserves. Through various initiatives, The Singita Community Development Trust has made a lasting impact throughout various parts of Africa by orchestrating an interdependent relationship between local communities, wildlife and the tourism industry.

The Rainbow Fund 

The grant for the Azura trip will go to The Rainbow Fund, the first registered charity of its kind in Mozambique. It supports a variety of social and environmental projects large and small, from building schools to environmental protection initiatives. The Rainbow Fund has a dedicated environmentalist and community officer at Azura, and works alongside the National Park and local communities wherever they can to protect and enhance the environment on which they depend. The Rainbow Fund supports special event days such as Christmas Day, Children’s Day, Environment Day and Women’s Day by holding events that are designed to educate and uplift children and their families. At Azura Benguerra, the funds collected from the Rainbow Fund initiative built Azura’s first school which now has more than 400 children in education compared to 40 when it first started, as well as teachers' housing blocks. The fund also sponsors a local football team.

 Africa News to Know
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Celebrating Women in Conservation: Elizabeth Babalola
Elizabeth Babalola speaking at The Business of Conservation Conference in Kigali, Rwanda

Elizabeth Babalola is the Director of Operations of the School of Wildlife Conservation at the African Leadership University, which recently launched a program to increase the number of women who participate in the conservation MBA to encourage the next generation of stewards to solve the world's encroaching environmental problems.

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Elizabeth witnessed first hand Nigeria’s struggle with crude oil degradation in the Niger Delta. Elizabeth developed an appreciation and love for the outdoors while studying environmental microbiology as a potential solution for the problem of oil degradation, and later received a master's degree in environmental management. She discovered that human behavior was a key ingredient for avoiding and correcting them and thus did her thesis on environmental attitudes and behavior in teenagers, on the premise that current and future environmental problems can be solved and avoided if young people develop an appreciation, understanding, and passion for the environment.

The School of Wildlife Conservation, was established in 2016 with campuses in Kigali and Mauritius as part of African Leadership University to develop ethical entrepreneurial African leaders for the sector. The program’s objective is to empower current emerging leaders in the sector with business, management, and leadership skills; to develop the next generation of young leaders from across the continent for conservation and to influence decision- and policy-makers across sectors by breaking down silos, fostering new networks, and facilitating unique partnerships towards sustainable conservation that is a pillar for Africa’s economic growth.

Read more about Elizabeth on

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