Crowdfunding for Independent Media

Communities Combat Poaching in Kenya
Total Raised of $19,250 goal

  days left


Funding Raised for  : Ami Vitale Kenya project
Individual                  : Ami Vitale
Media Profile           : Ami Vitale's journey as a photographer and filmmaker has taken her to 85 countries where she has told stories of the endurance of the human spirit and nature in the face of civil unrest, violence and against overwhelming odds. Sponsored by          : The Photo Society


All images © Ami Vitale | All rights reserved


Thanks to your generosity, we are on our way to creating a very important project.  I can’t wait to get these stories out and am excited knowing there is this exceptional community supporting this.


With 19 more days to go, we reached the initial goal and can now turn our sights on to other achievable objectives. For the next $7000, we will deliver a series of intensive educational trainings in visual storytelling to the indigenous communities of the Northern Rangelands Trust. Developing the capacity of the people who are instrumental on the ground and closest to the stories can leave a lasting impact. Adding more community engagement and advocacy allows us to get their stories out and heard around the world. Thanks again to everyone who has pledged and let us know if you have more ideas to make this even better. 

Original Project Description

Poaching and Extinction of Species in Kenya

Commercial poaching organized by sophisticated heavily armed criminal networks and fueled by heavy demand from newly minted millionaires in emerging markets is devastating the amazing mega-fauna of the African plains. It is entirely possible, even likely, that if the current trajectory of death continues, rhinos, elephants and a host of lesser know plains animals will be functionally extinct in our lifetimes.



Much needed attention has been focused on the plight of wildlife and the conflict between heavily armed poacher and increasingly militarized wildlife rangers.



However, the compelling story of indigenous communities caught in the cross-­hairs of the poaching wars, and who may hold the key to saving Africa’s great animals, is largely untold.


Communities Combat Poaching in Kenya

My project that began while working with the Nature Conservancy, will focus on the indigenous people of Northern Kenya and their efforts to end poaching on ancestral lands by preserving their traditional way of life and strengthening their communities.


The vast arid landscape of savannah, thorn-scrub and forested sky islands is populated by 14 indigenous semi-nomadic ethnicities--  Bajun, Boni, Borana, Giriama, Maasai, Ntorobo, Njemps, Ormoa, Pokomo,  Pokot, Rendillie, Samburu, Somali, and Turkana. Healthy populations of elephants including some massive tuskers roam this region while endangered black rhino, Grevy’s zebra and Hirola antelope hold on in globally significant numbers. But armed poachers taking advantage of the porous borders of Somalia, and South Sudan put wildlife and people at grave risk, increasing instability, inter-­clan conflict, and lawlessness. While government and private conservation organizations fight to strengthen anti-­poaching efforts, communal cohesion with and between communities is the fabric upon which conservation depend.



The Northern Rangelands Trust

The Northern Rangelands Trust is a collective of twenty-six indigenous groups covering 2.5 million hectares of Northern Kenya. Through their efforts communities have begun to lay down their guns, relying on dialogue rather than warfare to settle inter-­tribal conflict and collectively manage wildlife within their lands. They are beginning to reap the benefits of their efforts as both conservation and tourism dollars flows into this extremely poor region. By managing grazing jointly they can better safeguard against the unpredictability of drought and climate change. Poaching now threatens their recent successes and may rip apart fragile communities and permanently end a nomadic way of life.


My stories will focus on the indigenous nomadic communities of Northern Kenya on the frontlines of the poaching wars and their efforts to preserve community cohesion, ultimately the best immunization against forces that threaten their wildlife and their way of life.



How Much Money Will This Cost


Project budget amounts to $19,250. Detailed, itemised budget in PDF will be available soon on Documents part of the project page.


All images © Ami Vitale | All rights reserved