The Serengeti Preservation Foundation is Tanzanian nonprofit organization. SPF is led by Meyasi Meshilieck, who is responsible for designing and implementing our programs for local communities in the Ngoronggoro District, next to the Serengeti National Park.
Where we’re working
Loliondo is an important and challenging area, one that has seen social and political conflict. Though lying outside the park, it is a key buffer zone for the migration. Making an impact here is critical and can serve as a model for other areas.
In all of its program initiatives, SPF builds local capacity to monitor and act on threats to conservation, particularly those that relate to local communities.
- Monitor the changing status of conservation in Tanzania
- Media training and outreach programs
- Coordinate and monitor conservation initiatives in local communities
- Educate stakeholders, media professionals, and opinion leaders
- Bring conservation education to all Tanzanian public schools
- Lead online social media communications
- Develop local networks and partnerships for conservation action
- Build internal capacity and funding for administering and growing programs
I. Community Conservation
SPF focuses on local communities around the Serengeti. Its strategy is guided by these key questions:
- How are communities affected by, and how do they impact, the Serengeti?
- What issues do local people face?
- How can communities benefit from education and information?
- How does one build a culture of conservation?
- How can those outside be advocates for local communities?
- How can people benefit from conservation and tourism?
II. Advocacy, Awareness, Education, Action
This strategy applies multiple project-based approaches across four key areas: Advocacy, Awareness, Education, and Action. And this is applied in two ways:
- Community Saturation, focusing on a single high-risk Tipping Point Community, applying many program approaches. One example of this is the saturation program currently underway in Loliondo, a high-risk urgent need community. Three such programs are planned for Serengeti communities: Loliondo, Musoma, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. These will be developed consecutively over a 5-year period, and each will be evaluated so that the next regional program will learn from the previous. See below.
- Cross-Community, focusing on a single program initiative across closely related communities. One example of this is the simultaneous implementation of the Serengeti Teachers Education Program (STEP) in 10 regional secondary schools. Others are Wildlife Ambassadors for universities, and Journalism workshops. Cross-community programs may also be implemented with partner organizations.
III. Interlocking Programs
Of primary importance in SPF’s work is engagement of multiple stakeholders in authentic education and action initiatives. Programs work together to focus on local communities, but also bring community and conservation issues to a national audience, especially opinion leaders and government policy makers.
Programs address both short- and long-term objectives by involving different demographic segments: students, teachers, community leaders, elders, media producers. Each demographic group has its own time horizon for affecting change.
IV. Community Saturation
At the core of our strategy are Community Saturation Programs that focus on key areas around the Serengeti. They bring individual programs together to provide a sustained, multi-pronged approach to communities. Bringing programs together provides a synergy that is more than the sum of the parts. Once introduced into an area, they continue.
Programs used in community saturation are: Radio, Education programs (STEP), Community seminars, Youth empowerment activities. There are three areas in which these take place: Loliondo, Musoma, and Ngorongoro. They will be introduced consecutively in that order.
These programs will be administered by an SPF Regional Staff Member, who will live in and work with the local community. Prospective staff members will first be introduced to field ongoing field work. Staff are chosen carefully for their ability to network, administer programs, and provide ongoing feedback for effectiveness. In the field, they will be in constant contact with SPF through meetings and social media.
V. Cross Program Messaging
Program themes and messaging focus our strategy on key issues, all woven together through a combination of channels – information programs, interviews, radio dramas, phone-in programs, community seminars, media training, and school programs.
In addition to direct community outreach, SPF print journalism workshops and radio training focus on advocacy for local communities. Journalists are given incentives and grants to report on issues affecting local communities to bring these to a wider audience.
Messages relate to both community welfare and to Serengeti threats:
- Information on what is happening
- Likely impacts on communities
- How to adapt – share knowledge from other NGO’s
- Best practices for farming and livestock management.
Cattle and Rangeland Management
- Impact of cattle and goats on land
- Ways to reduce cattle herds
- Tradition role of cattle and new ways of thinking
- New breeds of cattle and how they help
- Milk and meat production markets
- Ways of preventing wildlife damage
- Information on programs like Lion Guardians and bee hives for elephants
- Bush meat poaching
Tradition & Change
- How and why traditional life is changing
- How to keep key values and ideas and update them
- Views of elders
A Heritage of Conservation
- National heritage and identity in Tanzania
- Ways to bring traditional values to a modern setting
- Source of pride for the nation
Conservation, Tourism, and Development
- Tourism as a source of jobs and national income
- Benefits and problems of tourism
- How can conservation and tourism benefit local people?
- Programs offered by other NGOs such as Community Conservation Banks
- Advice on best practices in farming. Use of new technologies
- Land use strategies
Community & Women’s Welfare
- Ways to empower and include women in education and the economy
- Women’s health and family issues