It has been a while since my last blog, for this I apologise. Life has been hectic and things are going from strength to strength with the Charity Foundation. This is great news for the worlds lions.
So, why the theme of this blog entry? Well it is quite simple really. I am at a stage where the great work being done by a number of people to help save the last remaining lions is being undermined by narrow minded, ill educated, egotistical morons, who think they are leading experts on conservation (some of them having never actually been to Africa or seen a lion in the wild, let alone knowing anything about them).
I am NOT a lion expert, but I have dealings with many of the worlds leading experts, those who physically work with these majestic animals daily, those who have studied for years and are qualified to talk about them and make educated assessments on what should be done to protect them. I utilise their knowledge to further my education and the direction our foundation takes in its quest to Protect African Lions. I participated in last years Global March for Lions because I believed in the cause we marched for because we made a difference and were noticed internationally.
Interestingly, some people have become a little carried away with their involvement in said march and think they are the fount of all knowledge these days. They think because they participated in the march that they are the world leaders. They believe their opinion is the only one that matters and they further believe they have the right to bad mouth others, through social media and in private messages and emails. Well, guess what? Libellous claims, of which I and others have a multitude of evidence, will eventually bite these folk in the rear. Nothing like a solicitors letter landing on their door mat to finally wake them up from their misguided self importance.
The thing that frustrates me the most is the fact that their hearts (i believe) are actually in the right place (in terms of caring for lions / wildlife) however their methods and motives are just appalling. Each NGO has their way of operating which they chose when they set themselves up. Its not up to individuals to pass judgement on these Orgs if the individual has a personal issue with others, or is in fact misguided, or has no understanding of what the Orgs are actually doing daily. So instead of passing judgement, perhaps speak with the Orgs to gain an understanding of their work? But no, this would expose their ignorance, so they knock instead of supporting.
Protecting African Lions Foundation (PAL) of which I am President, has made two public donations in the past 8 months to Orgs directly involved with lion projects on the ground. Furthermore, 98% of PALs work is actually done quietly behind the scenes, leveraging the relationships our ambassadors have with those who matter in governments across the globe, in conservation, in land ownership in Africa. Through intellectual connectivity, we meet and discuss the plight of the lion with numerous people on a daily / weekly / monthly basis, eliciting their support, donations and ongoing connections as we work to our ultimate goal – sponsoring a fully serviced sanctuary for lions in Africa. The sale of every PAL bracelet goes straight back into the foundation and is what has funded our two projects in the past year. Do I need some jumped up persons, so full of self importance, bad mouthing the good work my team and I do daily? I certainly don’t, especially when said persons fail to have the balls to talk to me face to face directly, and make waves in private underhand messages.
6 Lion charities have been exposed via social media as being fake fronts in the past year, fake domains collecting charitable donations from the public by playing on their goodwill for lions. There are currently two websites, a Facebook page and an Instagram account with a vast number of followers, who are actually fronts for collecting donations, which no lions will ever benefit from. Through our network of ambassadors, we continue working behind the scenes to have these shut down and removed from social media. If an NGO fails to publish its Charity Number, do NOT Trust it. If any fail to answer your questions as to where the funds donated goes, do NOT trust them. So time and resources that should be spent on lions is actually being redirected to halt the growth of these illegal NGOs.
The lions and our wildlife are having a hard enough time as it is and we certainly do not need illegal sites popping up and taking well deserved lion funding. Most of all, with the state of the worlds lions as bad as it is, the last thing we (any of us) need is so-called do gooders causing rifts between bone fide NGOs across the globe. What we should be doing is mutually supporting each other, educating, learning from each other, growing together and unifying our call to action. Ban Canned Hunting, Ban Cub Petting, Ban Walking with Lions, Close down all the ugly volunteering operations in Africa. EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE and EDUCATE some more. No matter who is doing the educating, we must get canned hunting out there to the masses.
Think about it people, harness that passion that drives you every day and actually put it to good use. Don’t waste your time, or that of others with playground antics. Man up, grow some balls and support one another. Man has an ability to put their differences aside and walk together in a common cause. FW De Klerk and Nelson Mandela proved that to be true.
I am very much looking forward to the Global March for Lions on 13th March, a year after our initial impact. I will proudly be standing there supporting the cause so many of us will turn up for, I will not back down, I will not detract, I will support the ongoing momentum.
Looking forward to seeing you all there.