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Apr 2, 2018

Edutainment films - pioneering conservation

Children in D.R. Congo watching edutainment films
Children in D.R. Congo watching edutainment films

Dear friends,


Thank you so much for making it possible to use edutainment films to protect Africa’s great apes and monkeys.


An estimated 3,000 great apes are lost from the wild every year, and millions of acres of their habitat disappear every month. Furthermore, the horrific and rapidly growing bushmeat trade is now considered the greatest danger to the future of Africa’s wildlife. The threats to great apes are particularly imminent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the only nation that is home to all of Africa’s great apes. Recent research found a shocking decline in eastern lowland gorillas of 77 percent since 1995 and a decline in eastern chimpanzees of 22 to 45 percent.


A root cause of these threats to great apes is a pervasive lack of awareness among the people of Africa about conservation. Many are unaware that the hunting and consumption of wildlife is robbing Africa of its natural heritage, that many species are alarmingly close to extinction, and that the current rate of habitat loss will soon leave Africa without enough forest to sustain some species.



The edutainment films


The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)’s Edutainment Films Program addresses this issue. In collaboration with our member organizations across Africa and a number of filmmakers, we are widely distributing edutainment films that are highly entertaining and engaging and contain messaging about wildlife conservation. PASA has secured the rights to distribute more than 25 films free of charge, most of which are in French as well as English. The majority were made in Africa for African audiences and address conservation issues that are highly relevant to the everyday lives of African communities. The fact that the films are enjoyable facilitates distributing them on a large scale, capturing people’s attention, and producing lifelong changes in their attitudes and behaviors that affect wildlife.


The films address topics such as the illegal hunting and snaring, arrests and imprisonment of poachers, consequences of trafficking wild animals and wildlife products, the illicit pet trade, ways to resolve human-wildlife conflict, and habitat exploitation. Some of the videos provide viewers with the animals’ perspective, to instill empathy and teach them that animals have the capacity to suffer. Many of the plots feature African children who make meaningful changes that protect wildlife, which inspires and motivates African youth who watch the films.


Implementation of the program


The goal of the program is to protect great apes from extinction by educating millions of people throughout Africa about the illegal hunting of endangered species, illicit pet trafficking, habitat destruction, and other conservation issues, and inspiring them to take action. Your support has made it possible to implement this program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where lack of public awareness is a significant barrier to reducing the wildlife trade and habitat loss.


Because of your support, the program has reached 29,932 people (16,580 children and 13,352 adults) in D.R. Congo and motivated them to change their current and future actions in ways that reduce their negative effects on great apes and their habitat. Because parents act as models for their children, the program’s impact is expected to persist for generations.


Each of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance’s member organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo has a deep understanding of the local culture and has connections with school administrators, government officials, and other influential people that result from working in a country for decades. After obtaining permission from administrators in education departments and schools, PASA members largely distributed the edutainment films by integrating them into their diverse outreach and education programs in schools and in communities, using their existing program infrastructure to maximize the reach of the films.


Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (CRPL) in South Kivu, eastern D.R. Congo, is in a hotspot of biodiversity. Their staff added the films as a component of their education programs in order to provide a new approach to conservation education. They use the films to inspire teachers as well as students in 14 schools around Kahuzi-Biega National Park, as well as Roots & Shoots clubs for youth who want to protect animals and the environment. Many schools in the area lack televisions and computers, but you enabled PASA to provide Lwiro with projectors, extra batteries, and related equipment so they can show the films in areas without infrastructure.


Lola ya Bonobo is located outside D.R. Congo’s capital of Kinshasa. Lola runs education programs that engage students and teachers in schools throughout the Kinshasa area, including “kindness for nature” clubs. They also hosts school groups, “kindness for nature” clubs, and other visitors at their sanctuary. Lola’s community awareness programs surrounding the Ekolo ya Bonobo conservation area, which is their bonobo reintroduction site in a remote area of D.R. Congo, reach tens of thousands of people.


Lola integrated the edutainment films into all of these education and awareness activities. Their staff use projectors and batteries provided because of your support to show the films even in the absence of electricity. Around Ekolo ya Bonobo, they often show the films in village centers and markets, and many residents of all ages come out to watch. Following screenings of the films, Lola’s outreach staff host discussions that reinforce the films’ lessons.



Evaluation of the Program’s Impact


A subset of program participants is selected to participate in the program evaluation. We use a pre-test/post-test format that consists of asking the same questions before and after the program to show changes in responses to each question. The evaluation questions were designed to assess people's actions, behaviors, and opinions, more than their knowledge, in order to determine the program’s effects on wildlife. The questions include diverse topics such as consuming bushmeat, keeping wildlife as pets, and empathy for animals.


We compared the responses to each question in the pre-test and post-test. Of the 18 questions that indicate people's appreciation for wildlife and nature and their understanding of threats to conservation, respondents demonstrated increases in 15 questions, with
changes of up to 63%.


Highlights include:

• An increase from 50% to 89% of respondents who said they would never eat bushmeat from any wild animal

• An increase from 37% to 100% of respondents who said they know that eating ape bushmeat can make them sick

• An increase from 60% to 100% of respondents who said it is better to grow food than hunt wild animals


Furthermore, through conversations with leaders of the PASA member organizations, we learned about effective implementation of the program and the resources needed, which enables us to improve the methodology and increase the program’s conservation impact in future years.


The implementation of the program and the evaluations are ongoing. We will conduct further assessments to determine the long-term results of the program on people's behaviors that have effects on conservation.




The Edutainment Films Program has already reached 29,932 people in D.R. Congo, and because PASA member organizations are continuing to show the films to large audiences, the program is expected to influence many more in the coming years. The conservation value of your support for the program will continue indefinitely.


On behalf of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance and our member wildlife centers across Africa, I would like to thank you for your invaluable support. You have made it possible to provide innovative, engaging lessons in conservation to tens of thousands of African youth, in addition to enabling us to launch a program in D.R. Congo which will continue for many years to come.


All best wishes,

Gregg Tully
Executive Director
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance

+1 971 712 8360

A scene from "Ajani's Great Ape  Adventures"
A scene from "Ajani's Great Ape Adventures"
Feb 5, 2018

Breaking News: Baby Chimp Rescued from Torture

Tita, when her rescuers found her
Tita, when her rescuers found her

Dear friends,

This may be the hardest email I’ve ever had to write. It’s also one of the most important.

I need to tell you the shocking story of Tita – the baby chimpanzee who was saved from a violent death by her brave mother, sister, and a heroic crew of rescuers and caregivers. Please note, this email contains graphic details and images of animal abuse.

Last month, just before Christmas, the EAGLE network in Guinea received a call about a chimpanzee in grave danger. When they arrived, they discovered a scene more gruesome than they could have imagined.

Three wild chimpanzees had been captured and tortured. Only one was still alive - a baby girl, of only about 10 months old.

The bodies of her mother and sister lay limp on the floor, where they were brutally murdered moments before.

Rescuers learned that two wildlife traffickers had tortured the chimp family, and that the mother and sister fought with everything they had to save the life of the baby chimp. The older sister, also a young chimpanzee, defended her baby sister for hours. Eventually the poachers set their dogs on the older sister, tied her up and beat her to death.

The baby chimp was alive, but just barely.

Along with witnessing the murder of her mother and sister, she suffered from an infection in her eyes and a broken arm, and her fingernails had been viciously torn out. We don’t know why or how this happened to her, and I can’t comprehend how a person could commit such atrocities. But rescuers knew they had to save her life.

The members of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance provide lifelong homes to rescued orphans like Tita. There are over 3,000 primates in the care of our members who were saved from hunters and smugglers.

The Long Road to Recovery

The baby chimp was swiftly taken to PASA member Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC). The staff were incredibly relieved when she ate, drank, and showed signs of life.

They decided to name the little orphan Tita. It means “sister” in the local language, in memory of Tita’s older sister who gave her life protecting her.

Tita is deeply traumatized by being tortured and from the shock of watching her mother and sister brutally murdered. Now CCC staff is caring for her night and day, and providing her with medical treatment and nutritious food to build back her strength.

They’re doing everything possible to save her life, and every day she’s growing a little bit stronger.
But Tita is very fragile and we aren’t sure if she’ll make it.

Tita’s road to recovery will take a long time, and the costs of her extensive veterinary care will be tremendous. CCC is dedicated to doing everything they can for her, but they have limited resources. They can’t save her without you.

Please donate to give her the medical care she desperately needs.

We can’t give Tita her mother and sister back. We can’t undo the trauma she has seen and felt. But with your support, we can help Tita survive.

Her mother and sister died for her to live -- don't let them die in vain. Give now to save Tita.

Very best wishes,
Gregg Tully
Executive Director
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance

PS: You have the ability to do something amazing. Please donate today to give life-saving medical care to a little chimp who suffered through unthinkable cruelty.

Now Tita is in the care of CCC, a PASA member
Now Tita is in the care of CCC, a PASA member


Jan 2, 2018

Pioneering the use of environmental films

Education Is the Key to Stopping the Threats to African Wildlife.

PASA and our member wildlife centers across Africa are running a pioneering program that uses high-quality, engaging films to teach conservation and empathy for animals.

Our goal is to protect wildlife and its habitat by changing the behavior of millions of people across Africa. We have approval to use more than a dozen films that were made for African audiences, and we’re continually seeking more.

Since the films are entertaining, our members can arrange for them to be shown on national TV, in schools, on public transportation, and at their rescue centers.

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage, a PASA member in Zambia, has a thriving community education program. They even built a school so that 120 local children – many of whom have parents who work at the Orphanage – can have a proper education.

Furthermore, Chimfunshi has developed an adult literacy program which empowers the local women of the community.

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage recently showed the first episode of Ajani’s Great Ape Adventures to the children in their school, as well as adults, who all watched it enthusiastically. Chimfunshi’s education staff will show more edutainment films throughout the school year, and the students will fill out surveys so we can assess what they’ve learned about animal welfare and environmental conservation.

We Can’t Do It Without You.

Chimfunshi is eager to expand the program to five more schools and to their new Conservation Education Club. However, funding is needed to make this possible.

Additionally, the native language in the area is Bemba and many people have a limited understanding of English. For them to fully absorb the messaging, we need to translate the films into Bemba.

By donating, you will make it possible to record a translation of a different film every month,making the films accessible to people throughout Africa.

With your monthly contribution of $20, each month you’ll enable a new classroom of students to watch films about animal protection and do activities that build on the lessons in the films.

We can educate millions of people to protect animals throughout Africa – but only with your help.   


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