← BACK TO NEWS

Empowering Women in Africa

IAPF is empowering women in Africa through specialized training and gainful employment as female rangers in the fight against poaching.

March 1, 2021

Empowering Women in Africa

The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) is making a difference and not just in the lives of African wildlife. Our program serves to empower women in Africa while protecting thousands of acres of land and drastically reducing poaching.

Many African women have never had the opportunity to dream about the future. From a young age, they are obligated to run the households. In fact, many become mothers just after reaching puberty. Families quickly begin to rely on African women to care for them, sweeping away any dreams the women had of completing their education, attending college or starting a life of their own.

Decades have passed, with women suffering silently in the background of African communities. They are often subject to health issues, illiteracy and sexual exploitation. IAPF is working diligently and creatively to put an end to this cycle.

Female Empowerment

IAPF has created a unique approach to conservation through the development of an all-women anti-poaching unit known as Akashinga. This unit of working women in Africa is armed and intensely trained to lead the fight against poaching. They are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to arrest poachers and protect wildlife — without having to use their firearms.

Empowerment Through Employment

The Akashinga program is about far more than animal protection. It is about female empowerment, and that is done by providing gainful employment to the women of Africa. The IAPF educates women living in the community and provides them with specialized military-style training for their positions as rangers. The mission of the project is to employ 1,000 females from the community by 2025 to protect 20 nature preserves under IAPF namagement.

Empowerment Through Education

Education and training are essential steps to becoming an Akashinga ranger. IAPF founder Damian Mander is a Naval veteran and Australian Defense Force operations sniper. The training to become an Akashinga ranger is modeled after Mander’s special forces training. IAPF provides multiple levels of education for these women, many of which had not previously completed or even attended school.

Benefits of Female Empowerment in Africa

The Akashinga women are known as the “Brave Ones.” This is because they have survived and are now thriving despite enduring years of marginalization and abuse. Many of the Akashinga women have overcome serious trauma. Now, they are protecting threatened wildlife while working toward a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.

Increased Opportunity

The community has seen major improvements in women’s economic independence thanks to IAPF and the hard work put in by the Akashinga women. Many of these women can now purchase their own properties and build homes to shelter their loved ones. Others have been inspired to finish schooling, attend college and ensure their children have educational opportunities of their own.

Superior Quality of Life

The benefits of the Akashinga animal conservation program are limitless. Due to the program and the employment it provides, the community has seen a reduction in poverty, fewer disease diagnoses, improved healthcare and a longer life expectancy. Additionally, the community is more aware of the value of women and their rights as humans, which aids greatly in the decades-long struggle against rape and sexual assault.

Akashinga women and the communities in which they live have now begun to value family planning. These women are better able to decide when they want to begin a family, rather than being forced to start a family before completing schooling or reaching other goals. The education and compensation these women receive has greatly improved quality-of-life standards throughout the community.

Be Part of the Solution

You have the ability to help protect African wildlife while promoting women’s economic empowerment in Africa. There are multiple ways you can contribute to our women empowerment NGO right here on the IAPF website, including:

  • Become a monthly donor: Donate monthly and become part of our Guardian community.
  • Giving from your IRA: Donors older than 70.5 years can make a tax-exempt gift to the IAPF straight from an IRA.
  • Transfer stock: Donate appreciated stock to IAPF and enjoy a tax advantage when tax season comes.
  • Will a donation to IAPF: Leave a gift to IAPF in your will and help protect wildlife for future generations to enjoy.
  • Start a fundraiser: Join our IAPF community and we can help you start a fundraiser to benefit the foundation and Akashinga women.
  • Shop until you drop: Shop eBay or AmazonSmile and choose IAPF as your charity of choice.

Directly helping women in Africa is as simple as making a donation on our website. You can help us reach our goal of employing 1,000 women by 2025. Make a simple one-time donation or set up recurring monthly gifts. Just $10 per month can make a major difference in the lives of African wildlife and the communities involved in the Akashinga program.