To recruit additional women as wildlife rangers to defend the expanding wilderness portfolio, the Judith Neilson Foundation has supported the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) with a US$700,000 (A$1 million) grant, which will be used to reinforce its ‘Akashinga – Nature Protected by Women’ program in Zimbabwe.
The program has been a spur for change across the region, focusing on social impact to achieve conservation at scale, with women’s empowerment central to its strategy.
During the ceremony, the Australian businesswoman and philanthropist Judith Neilson revealed that the grant would include one of the largest remaining elephant populations on Earth in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley and develop community-based infrastructure. These projects partner with local communities where the women recruited for service reside.
“Akashinga’s strong focus on supporting marginalised women in rural areas, hand in hand with delivering infrastructure upgrades for healthcare, education and clean water, are vital for community-led conservation having an impact at scale. The women of Akashinga have proven this, and I am excited to support them as they expand their work in Africa, ” Sydney-based Neilson said.