Apply to Join
 Animals  Senegal Project #10140

Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education

by Neighbor Ape
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Conserving Senegal's Chimpanzees through Education
Former Fongoli alpha male David (pic courtesy BBC)
Former Fongoli alpha male David (pic courtesy BBC)

We are excited to report that we have a new grant to study the microbiome of the Fongoli chimpanzees, funded by Texas State University!

In collaboration with primatologists at Texas State and the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project will begin a baseline study of how a savanna environment as well as the influence of gold mining in the area effects these apes’ health and well-being. 

We continue to work with the local communities, to fund Senegalese students and provide healthcare assistance to people around Fongoli. Working to improve the health of humans that share their space with the Fongoli chimps in turn helps improve these apes’ survival as well. 

The assistance of donors like yourselves makes our work possible, so thank you once again! 

- the Fongoli team 

Alpha male David being very relaxed!
Alpha male David being very relaxed!


There is a lot of activity in Senegal - as the gold mining continues, the population of humans in southeastern Senegal continues to rise, putting chimpanzees in danger in many areas. Similarly, local people face shortages and perhaps some of the same longterm challenges as wildlife does in this area - water scarcity, increase in disease threats and others.

Neighbor Ape is devoted to improving the wellbeing of humans that live in the Fongoli area while protecting the chimpanzee population here. We continue to work specifically with the villages of Fongoli, Petit Oubadji, Djendji and Thiobo. We are also planning on focusing our efforts in the Tomboronkoto Commune, where Fongoli chimpanzees spend some of their time. The majority of the Fongoli chimpanzee range is in the Bandafassi Commune, but wildlife and people in this area face challenges that come with a burgeoning human population. 

We are fortunate that the Fongoli chimpanzees received some attention via the BBC documentary, Dynasties. Alpha male David was the star of the Chimpanzee episode, and you can find videos and other information here: 

Chimpanzee episode of Dynasties

We continue to work with the Senegalese organization OBARAR to fund village children's dormitory stays in Kedougou so that they might receive a better education. We also continue to fund education and health-related projects in the village of Djendji. 

As we broaden our perspective on chimpanzee conservation and human development in Senegal, we hope that you will keep up with us and continue your valued support!

Please stay tuned for news related to our ventures!

School supplies for Djendji village
School supplies for Djendji village
We are wrapping up another successful year of funding education projects at Neighbor Ape! In addition to funding school children in Kedougou, we continue to fund young women in college in Dakar (see our project called, 'Send a Senegalese Woman to Business School'). We continue to provide school supplies for the largest village in the Fongoli chimpanzee range (Djendji), which is also the traditional seat of power in the area. This year, we also contributed a solar system setup to Djendji's new healthcare dispensary (see our project specific to village healthcare). We are happy to announce that we plan on expanding our assistance to the OBARAR (Senegalese non-profit based in Kedougou and associated with the Beudick people) school dormitory, which allows village children to live in Kedougou, the regional capital, and to attend better schools than they have the opportunity to attend in rural areas. Children living at the dormitory include those from the Beudick village of Thiobo, but we also specifically seek to assist children from other areas that have lost one or both parents and are subsequently in need of assistance. The OBARAR dormitory provides a safe living space as well as 3 square meals a day and space to study as well. All of our accomplishments are due to donors like yourselves. They may be relatively small projects, but they definitely make a big difference to people living in and around the Kedougou Region of Senegal. Thank you again for your generosity!
Mboule & family (photo courtesy Heather Labbe)
Mboule & family (photo courtesy Heather Labbe)

In case you have not noticed, we increased our funding goal for this project, and I wanted to thank you for all your generosity in helping successfully raise funds that help conserve chimpanzees in Senegal and also contribute to the education and wellbeing of people that live alongside the Fongoli chimps.

I thought I would provide you access to something I recently wrote about someone in Fongoli that really was instrumental to the success of the chimpanzee research project and to the success of Neighbor Ape activities. This summer we lost Mboule Camara, the first field assistant at Fongoli, chief of our small village and native Fongolian. I wrote a personal account of some of my relationship with Mboule and what he meant to the Fongoli project, and I hope you'll read it here:

In reflecting on Mboule's life as I knew it, I felt as if it were also appropriate to write something about him and the kind of person he was in an update to this project. Mboule exemplifies the friendly and generous nature of almost everyone I have met in rural southeastern Senegal. I could truly not do what I do in terms of chimpanzee research without their aid, and the projects that Neighbor Ape has been able to do in the area in part helps repay such kindness but also is impossible without a community effort. Our relationship also goes such a long way to conserve the biodiversity of the area, and I believe that we have had a good impact on the welfare of girls' education as well.

Thank you again for your generosity!

Orphan chimp Toto on his way to Guinea sanctuary
Orphan chimp Toto on his way to Guinea sanctuary

A new school year has started again in Senegal, and Neighbor Ape is supporting several school children in Kedougou and two young women in business school in Dakar.

Since the village of Djendji still has school supplies in hands from our gifts of previous years, we are focusing our efforts on making plans to build and help initially stock a pharmacy there - more info on that coming within the next few months!

Perhaps the biggest news item is that orphan chimpanzee Toto has finally been sent to his new sanctuary home at the Chimpanzee Conservation Centre in Guinea. I'm including a photo of Toto in his travel cage - the first time he's had to be in a cage, but he adjusted well and is out of it now. We have word he is acclimating well and should get photos soon! One of his "Dads", Dondo Kante, will be there with him awhile, helping him adjust.

Neighbor Ape was also able to donate one third of the funds needed to build new enclosures for Toto and his new group, while Friends of Animals provided the rest. We also financed half of his moving costs and wages for a new caretaker at the CCC for several months. We are especially grateful to Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee project personnel, D. Kante, J. Keita and M. Sadiahko for taking care of Toto while juggling their usual duties, especially over the last year when Neighbor Ape took over all financing responsibilities for Toto.  A new donor provided a large portion of the funds that were used to build new structures for Toto and his new family, as well.

Neighbor Ape will continue to support Toto via gifts to the CCC, even after his human Dad returns. You can also find info on the CCC Facebook page if you want to sponsor Toto directly via their fundraising page.

In other news, artisanal and corporate gold mining is still a big threat to chimpanzees in Senegal, but we are collaborating with other stakeholders in Senegal to come up with solutions. We can hopefully share some of those plans here over the course of the next year!

Thank you for your generous support from Neighbor Ape, the people of the Fongoli and Kedougou communities, the Fongoli chimpanzees and orphan Toto! 


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Neighbor Ape

Location: Smithville, Texas - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @JillPruetz
Project Leader:
Jill Pruetz
Ames, IA United States
$20,694 raised of $25,000 goal
427 donations
$4,306 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Neighbor Ape has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.