Category Archives: Fundraising

A baby vervet needs a name

A week and a half ago, we had a new arrival at the Colobus Trust in the form of a baby vervet monkey. Her mother was electrocuted in Mombasa and the lady who discovered the sad scene called us to pick up the orphan. When the vervet arrived she still had her umbilical cord attached, so we estimate that she is only 2 and a half weeks old. This tiny vervet is beautiful and so feisty, already play-fighting with the Sykes baby monkey we also have in our care. She will be raised by volunteers at the Colobus Trust until she is old enough to then be rehabilitated and when she’s ready will be released into the wild.

The new arrival

The new arrival

We’ve decided that this delightful girl needs a name! We have set up an eBay auction so that anyone who would like the honor of naming this baby can bid to buy the rights. Money raised will go towards food for her and the other animals we have in our care at the moment, medicine, insulating electrical wires so this problem can be reduced and many more things. So please visit the site be generous!

Thanks for your support,

Cara

Thank you San Antonio Zoo!

Our deepest thanks to San Antonio Zoo for their generous donation to the Colobus Trust!

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Their contribution will hugely help in the conservation of primates and habitat on the south coast of Kenya.

A Pig in a Wig?!

A successful and entertaining evening was held on Saturday 19th September at Ngiri’s Bar and Restaurant in Diani Beach. The fundraiser was thrown for the South Coast Resident’s Association’s tree planting drive in collaboration with the Colobus Trust. The brilliant band played a top range of music and the atmosphere could not have been better! The “Pig in the Wig” theme lead to a huge array of inventive outfits, with some wigs being made from everyday items such as mops, bin liners, foliage, cotton wool and even toilet paper!

The evening’s entrance fees were donated to the SCRA cause, raising total of 18200Ksh. Additional money was raised by Ngiri’s donating 10% of the money spent on food, as well as one gentleman who managed to raise some funds by selling clothes pegs!

A big thank you to all who came along to show their support for such a deserving cause. We hope to see such a marvelous turnout for the next event!

Swinging for shillings

The Colobus Trust was very grateful to receive a donation this week from the Leisure Golf Club. The Senior Golfers Society had a shoot-out competition where competitors aimed to get a golf ball closest to a flag. All the balls used in the shoot-out were purchased by the golfers on the day and all proceeds were then split between the Colobus Trust and the Diani Children’s Home.

We would like to thank the Leisure Golf Club and the Senior Golfers Society for this wonderful initiative.

SafariLink press release. Colobus Trusts new corporate sponsor

The following article is the press release from Safarilink the new corporate sponsor of Colobus Trust. We at the trust would like to thank Safarilink for all there support and look forward to an amazing relationship. It is always inspiring when a company of this magnitude cares enough about the local environment and organizations dedicated to protecting it.

SafariLink Helps Protect Diani’s Primates

Nairobi, Kenya xx August 2009 – As part of its ongoing corporate social responsibility programme, SafariLink, Kenya’s premier safari airline, has announced that it will donate $2 to the Diani Beach based Colobus Trust for each passenger it flies into or out of the Diani airstrip.  In addition it has sponsored the purchase of a ‘tuk-tuk’ which will be used by the Trust to collect tourists from their hotels and take them to their headquarters where they will be able to learn about the Coast ecosystem and the work of the Trust. The airline, which commenced daily flights to Diani on the 1st July 2009, has taken the decision to assist the Trust which runs the primate conservation and rescue centre on the south coast of Kenya.

The Colobus Trust was founded in Diani in 1997, initially to come up with a way to prevent the high number of monkey ‘road kills’ on Diani Road.  Today, the Trust has expanded to become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, focusing on primates, with both Kenyan staff and international volunteers. The Colobus Trust also helps to educate local schoolchildren, gives guided eco-tours and provides a rehabilitation programme for monkeys that have been kept illegally as pets.

“The rapid growth in tourism infrastructure and growing human population in the area has had a significant negative impact on the remnants of a once large and rich coastal forest ecosystem and hence a decline in the primate population,’ said John Buckley, Managing Director, SafariLink Aviation.  “For more than ten years the Colobus Trust has been dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates living in the Diani area.  SafariLink, as a socially responsible company, is therefore happy to help the Trust in order to help safeguard the environment for the remaining primates and hopefully thereby stop the decline in their numbers.”

In support of the donation, Raymond Matiba, Chairman of The Colobus Trust said, “75% of the Trusts core revenue comes from tourism.  But sadly the Kenya Coast has suffered a  decline in tourists in recent years and hence our income from visitors to the Trust has decreased.  We are therefore particularly delighted that SafariLink have made this very generous donation to the Trust and their pledge of long term financial support will help us plan for the future.”

“In addition, the introduction of the SafariLink daily flights to Diani is in itself a very positive move which we believe will result in an increase in tourists as well as being beneficial to the residents in the area,” added Matiba.

SafariLink is involved in other socially responsible initiatives that include an indigenous tree planting exercise on the foothills of Mount Kenya National Reserve in conjunction with the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust.  This project aims to compensate for the carbon-dioxide emissions from their aircraft and hence minimize the company’s operational impact on the environment.  Additionally the company has an agreement with the Lewa Conservancy, www.lewa.org, whereby approximately 5% of the cost of each ticket to Lewa is donated to help their conservation research.  In addition, SafariLink assist the Safi Lamu group who are tidying up Lamu and provide flights for the charity Medical & Educational Aid to Kenya, www.meak.org, to help them reach disadvantaged persons in remote areas who need medical attention for heart and eye conditions.

-ENDS-

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About SafariLink

SafariLink is a Kenyan company established in 2004.  Based in the ALS Building, Wilson Airport, SafariLink offers a network of scheduled services that cover the main ‘safari’ tourist destinations of Amboseli, Tsavo, Chyulus, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Loisaba, Shaba, Masai Mara, Kiwayu and Lamu in Kenya and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  In addition, SafariLink can provide you with charter flight within Kenya and throughout East Africa.  SafariLink currently operates a fleet of Cessna Caravans, a Let 410 and Dash 8.

About The Colobus Trust

The Colobus Trust is a conservation organization designed to promote the conservation, preservation and protection of primates like the rare Angolan Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southern Kenya. The Trust was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of the Colobus in the Diani area. Now the Trust has numerous projects concerning the wildlife and the citizens of Kenya, including animal welfare, biological/ecological research, community development and education, forest protection and enrichment and eco-tourism awareness programs.

Daily Nation and Primate Handshake helping us to raise awarness.

Recently the Colobus Trust has been making big moves to raise awarness in diani and all across Kenya. One big supporter of our cause has been the Daily Nation news papper. In the past few weeks two seperate articles have been written on the plight of the Angolan black and white colobus, our flagship speices, whos only remaining habbitat in kenya is here on the south coast. We would like to share these articles with our readers and thank the Daily Nation for its support. Media is one of the best ways for conservation groups to raise awarness. This is one of the largest news pappers in Kenya and is read by thousands of people a day.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/633412/-/item/0/-/18yang/-/index.html

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/regional/-/1070/630462/-/7l0l1v/-/index.html

 We would also like to thank the Great Primate Handshake. This group was with us a few weeks ago and worked on some very important videos for us here at the Trust. The first video is going to help us with our volunteer programs. We at the Colobus Trust would like to build our volunteer program to allow us to complete many of the projects which require more man power. If you know anyone who is interested in doing some volunteer work or who may have some vacation time and would like a different experience please let them know about us. I can personally guarantee a wonderful stay and an experience you can never forget.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYgtC5597b8&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=094AF86F0F47431C

This next video was made for the Kenya ferry service. This Ferry shuttles some 50,000-70,000 people back and forth from Likoni to Mombasa every day. At the waiting station for the ferry are two large screens, one on either end. We have arranged for the ferry service to play our video for free. This is going to raise a lot of awareness about the major issues here in Diani as well as provide information to tourist on what it is we do here at the trust.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98fwLExkgEs&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=094AF86F0F47431C&index=2

 Once again I would like to thank you for joining us. As always small organizations with large responsibilities, such as the Colobus Trust, would not be able to exist without the support from doners such as yourselves. Please continue to support us and we will keep you updated on all of our projects.

Best wishes,

Andrew Hayes

Assistant manager

www.colobustrust.org

New Manager with the Colobus Trust

Dear friends of the Colobus Trust (CT)

Introduction of the new CT manager

Managing the Colobus Trust (CT) is a challenge, but one close to my heart.  My name is Eirik Jarl Trondsen, and on July 7.2009 I started my new job with CT.  Thanks to recent efforts by several CT board members, Elodie and the Colobus staff the trust is already recovering from a very challenging 08/09 period. The challenges are still numerous, and there is a long way to go, but the process has begun.

Personally I look forward to fighting for protecting the beauty of Diani Beach, and surrounding areas. The forest and wildlife, that depend on it is under constant threat from blind, unconscious development.

The opportunities for the trust are many. General awareness on environmental protection is on the rise, the tourist industry is keener to be eco and primate friendly, and the overcrowded and overdeveloped beaches elsewhere is a visible warning to Diani Beach.

With me I bring 8 years of program management experience from CARE International, since 2001 based in Kenya. I have spent the last 2 years managing a bio fuel project in the nearby Shimba Hills.  Some of the CARE projects I dealt with were in he field of conservation, so I know something about the challenges of sustainability in conservation work.

I see professionalization of CT and economic sustainability as main priorities. The potential for conservation is growing, in a region under increased pressure from uncontrolled development.

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If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know. My telephone number is 0733124774, and e-mail eirik@colobustrust.com or ejtconsult@gmail.com

Guiding lights

This is Margi again, settling in to life at the Colobus Trust and finding ways for my particular background and skills to be useful here. This week I’ve been involved in a workshop for Trust staff, looking at what the Colobus Trust offers visitors when they come on the ‘eco-tour’. The idea was to come up with some new ways of presenting the tour and engaging with visitors, based on work I’ve done with guided walk leaders in a UK National Park.

Eco-tours are an important source of income for the Trust. Back in 2007 they hosted over 1000 tours during the year. But the numbers plummeted in 2008 when tourism dried up as a result of the post-election political violence. It’s beginning very slowly to pick up again this year, but there’s still a long way to go, and there’s stiff competition from commercial tour operators offering safaris and boat trips – although what the Trust offers is an entirely different experience, of course.

Visitors come as couples, families or groups of friends, and get a very individual experience. The tour got a glowing write-up in a recent article in Kenya’s national Sunday newspaper, though some people are disappointed if they don’t actually see Colobus monkeys – Trust staff have to explain that the Colobus are wild animals and not predictable!

Anyway, in a competitive market it’s always worth making what’s good even better, and when I mentioned I’d done similar work in the UK, I was asked if I could share current ‘best practice’ ideas with the Colobus Trust team. Two members of staff, Mary and Esther, are the regular tour guides but most of the team can find themselves leading a tour if it gets busy or if visitors turn up without booking, so everyone participated in the workshop.

We looked first at what the tour was aiming to achieve – what does the Trust want visitors to learn, feel, and then actually do? Getting people to sign up as supporters and donors is obviously a key aim, but promoting responsible tourism is also important. Keeping in mind that people retain only a tiny fraction of the information they receive, but are more likely to remember the overall experience, we looked a how to identify simple key messages and some ‘tricks of the trade’ to convey them in an engaging way.

The highlight of the workshop was when participants, working in pairs, prepared a small section of the tour using some of the new ideas and then delivered this to the rest of the group (Peter, Esther and Mwitu are pictured below). Everyone gave lively and engaging presentations, with the group offering constructive comments and extra suggestions. Trees that cure 40 diseases and snails that take care of the garden are just two of the things I learned about, that have stuck in my mind and made me see the natural world differently, thanks to the Colobus Trust team. I’m sure visitors will feel the same!

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Treading the treetops

I’m Margi and I’m a new volunteer at the Colobus Trust. I live in the UK where I do freelance work for countryside organizations who want to improve their provision for visitors and local communities, and to help people understand the natural and historical environment better.

So in some ways the Colobus Trust feels really familiar, as its aims are not so different. But of course, the pressures and challenges here in Diani are so much greater, as Kenya’s coastal forest steadily disappears and with it the last refuge of the Angolan Colobus monkey, not to mention all the rest of the animals and plants in this precious ecosystem.

We’ve had a stark reminder of this recently, being greeted in the mornings by the sound of chain-saws from a neighboring property, where the owner is clearing land. At first, we thought our resident Colobus troop had been scared off by the noise, but last week they were back, calmly munching the young leaves of the neem trees that surround the Colobus Trust house, and bouncing on and off our roof before returning to the topmost branches.

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This was my first sight of Colobus monkeys in the wild. They are truly stunning animals with their beautiful black coats and flowing white manes. It would be tragic if they disappeared for ever. But they have well-developed survival skills, and it’s good to know our ‘home’ troop is still around.

Today I saw one of the areas where they’re doing well, a three-acre patch of untouched coastal forest, where there are at least five Colobus troops. I was there to help Colobus Trust staffers John and Mwitu to trim the high branches of trees growing close to power lines, to stop Colobus and other monkeys using the high-voltage wires as a convenient walkway.

Electrocution is one of the main causes of death or serious injury for Diani’s primates, and although the Trust rushes to the rescue whenever they hear of a casualty, the victims don’t always survive. In any case, prevention is better than cure! So trimming trees and insulating power lines are important parts of the work. At the moment the Trust is running a big campaign to insulate as many lines as possible. It costs just $1 a meter to make the wires monkey-proof, but there are thousands of meters to do, so the Trust urgently needs donations for this work!

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John and Mwitu are fearless climbers, shinning up a wobbly extended ladder to gain a precarious foothold in the trees, before lopping off high branches with a razor-sharp machete. I didn’t trust myself on the ladder, and I don’t think the others trusted me with a machete! So I stayed on the ground and cleared up the fallen branches, dragging them into the forest where they’ll sustain all sorts of mini-beasts and eventually rot down into the soil.

One of the local Colobus troops came by to check us out before we started work, and later in the morning we were inspected by three Suni (Africa’s smallest antelope) and a Waterbuck. Patches of forest like this one support an amazing array of wildlife, and it can survive alongside people – not just in parks and reserves – as long as we give it enough space and take care that our actions don’t needlessly destroy it. I can see for myself that the Trust does a great job getting this message across and backing it up with practical action.

HERE TO STAY

  The entire compound is full of tents and very busy people. Their tents are blue, green, and red, but their overland truck is yellow and always clean. They’re called Great Primate Handshake (GPH) and they’re here to help with our projects and share some knowledge – about the internet, digital media, film-making and teaching techniques. Monday morning one of the Colobus Trust directors, Luciana, was here as usual to greet her Colobus Trust ‘family’, but this morning she had more news than the daily greetings. There was a new member in our troop for adopters. On Sunday, a white infant Colobus was born! We named the new baby GPH in honour of the visiting volunteer group. I would like to inform those interested in adopting a cute new infant, to take this opportunity. Thanks to GPH group for choosing the Colobus Trust and we would like to welcome the young GPH into the family.  It’s my hope that other groups will be interested in the Colobus Trust, particularly our camping site and am looking forward for new adopters for the new member. Remember you can adopt through our website as well. So let’s say ‘long life’ to little GPH!

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This week our education day was a little different with the involvement of GPH. Another Tuesday and most of the people around are busy preparing for the school workshop. But today we have more participants than usual. There are cameras at every corner of the Colobus Trust premises. The kids moved in through the cameras and immediately loved it. One of the Great Primate Handshake members showed an entertaining cartoon they had made on problems affecting Colobus and other monkeys in the area. The kids then divided in two groups, one were ‘animals’ and one were ‘humans’ and had a hot debate about how they use trees. Then it was off to the beach, where we managed to collect more than ten kilograms of sandals in less than half an hour – all this was waiting to kill our marine life at some point. This was on our waste management topic. Thanks to Magutu Primary for the dedicated beach clean up. The sandals will be used be local artists to make things – like the whale shark (shujaa) made from flip-flops which stands in Haller Park in Mombasa  Most of the kids loved the beach football, and they were all covered in sand by the end of it.  My request to you is, please wherever you are, avoid littering the beach and if possible pick up any rubbish while you are there, walking or jogging. Once again thanks for supporting our education programme through our blog.

Hamisi – Education, Marketing and Communication.

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www.colobustrust.org