In developing communities local people are sometimes forced into illegal or environmentally damaging practises in the need to support their families.
In Kenya, local people in the Shimoni forest believe the forest to be sacred and logging is illegal however with no other choice to support themselves and their family many people see selling trees for timber and charcoal as their only option. With donations to the GVI Charitable Trust we have been able to bring in an expert on alternative charcoal, made using sawdust and everyday waste this technique in no way harms the forest. By training a group of locals this initiative then becomes a sustainable way to generate an income as the briquettes can be sold at a competitive rate in the community.
In Thailand, Mahouts and elephant owners are forced to leave their communities and move to the cities to use their elephants in street begging and circus shows. This lifestyle is deeply distressing for the elephants and significantly reduces the life expectancy of this endangered species. Donations to the GVI Charitable Trust help us to sponsor elephants and provide sustainable alternative livelihoods for their owners. Once back in their communities the owners join educational and training programs which will provide them with a new line of work helping to establish a breeding population of elephants in the forest.