We are a small charity that supports community and conservation projects in South Luangwa, Zambia

Bringing a smile to Zambia

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We recently received a copy of the Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) 2018 Annual report.  It’s full of information about the truly great work that the team are doing and the progress they are making, working with the local community to help protect the wildlife of South Luangwa.

We have been supporting CSL alongside Malimba School  for a few years and both are important elements of Make Me Smile’s focus now.

There will be a further newsletter coming out soon from Malimba School.  It is looking amazing with it’s new coat of paint.  Also there were great results in the latest exams , 90% success rate, so all good news.

Below is Rachel McRobb’s (CEO) report which provides a highlights from the full 2018 report.

Thinking back and moving forward-CEO’s Report
“Last year, we put our heads down and fought through 2018. We’ve just had two particularly challenging years that have tested our resilience and patience as an organization, but we weathered the storm and things are looking great for 2019!! Patience, planning and perseverance pays off. This is one of the most valuable skills I have learnt and adopted over the past decade. Change is sometimes slow but eventually comes. Unfortunately poaching remained a key challenge in 2018 with figures similar to the previous year. Whilst there are several key contributing factors to this, one of the major ones has been a critical shortage of anti-poaching rangers in South Luangwa for decades. To address this, the Zambian Government added almost 180 new wildlife police officers to their payroll in December 2018. In July 2018 in partnership with DNPW, CSL coordinated and financed (with support from USFW, Vulcan, Elephant Crisis Fund, Dazzle Africa, Rifcon, Lion Camp, IFAW, USAID, Africa Hope Fund, Milt Fredenburg), a 6-month recruit training course for 92 new wildlife police officers who have significantly increased the anti-poaching force. There are more details on this later in the report, but this really is the most encouraging step forward for South Luangwa in a long time. In 2018 the CSL K9 Unit also grew and we received a fifth dog called Tygee. We settled in to the newly built base in Chipata, where the team assists DNPW in trying to reduce wildlife trafficking in Eastern Province. Speaking of dogs, another fabulous bit of news for South Luangwa is the wild dog population. Thanks to the outstanding conservation and research efforts of the Zambian Carnivore Program, we are celebrating a big conservation success! The Luangwa Valley is now estimated to be home to the largest population of wild dogs in the whole of Zambia! Thanks to the collaborative efforts of ZCP, CSL and DNPW, wild dog numbers in and around the South Luangwa National Park have been steadily increasing, and there are now an estimated 350 dogs in the Valley.  Lastly, as always, we are truly indebted and grateful to all our donors. Your support is incredible and is the reason we can continue to keep doing this work to help protect the Luangwa Valley. Here’s to a successful 2019!!”

With heartfelt thanks, Rachel McRobb