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A New Future for Soldiers for Wildlife: Introducing SFW

Almost six years ago, when Soldiers for Wildlife was founded, we were focused on a singular critical mission: protecting Africa’s most iconic species and directing action against those determined to drive them to extinction. We arrived in Africa and went directly to the front lines, determined to bring breakthrough anti-poaching resources and training to the rangers who risk their lives every day to defend African wildlife.

We knew that we would face barriers in this charge - widespread corruption across many parts of Africa, complex criminal networks, dire lack of proper gear and resources for rangers, competition in conservation fundraising, and at times, loud voices who simply did not, and still do not understand what we do and why. But we faced these challenges head-on, with our wide eyes open, ready to make an impact wherever we possibly could. Along the way, we met amazing individuals and organizations who share our values and mission, and we made some lasting connections that are leading to an extremely bright future ahead.

We also learned a tremendous amount over these last few years. One important piece of knowledge we gained is that anti-poaching is just a bandaid - only treating a symptom of a much larger issue. We learned that habitats continue to outright vanish at alarming rates across Africa. Today, it’s estimated that 60-70% of the land that used to belong to wildlife is gone. That’s why, as we look ahead, we are laser-focused on securing and purchasing land of our own to give back to wildlife and empower communities to protect their own heritage.

We have come to realize how connected the issue of wildlife conservation is to the people of Africa. Over the last couple of years, we’ve spent a lot of time in local communities in Zambia and South Africa, participating in youth engagement programs and creating opportunities for communities to learn about the wildlife around them. The lack of education and understanding has been astonishing. But what’s clearer today than ever is that these communities are crucial to conservation, and re-bridging that connection is also an important step on the path towards enduring, sustainable conservation efforts.

Finally, our time in Africa has also reinforced what we always knew about rangers, acting as soldiers on the ground to protect wildlife. Without them, all of these animals would be gone.

With many projects completed, kilometers traveled, and new programs created, we are responding directly to what we’ve learned by sharpening our focus on the future of conservation and the future of our organization.

Today, Soldiers for Wildlife is now officially SFW.

Today, we usher in a new future with a comprehensive, connected approach to conservation, with equal emphasis on Ranger Training & Support, Community Empowerment & Engagement, and Biodiversity Conservation.

While we continue to stand alongside our world’s rangers with ties that are stronger than ever, and will only further enhance our support and training resources, this repositioning is critical to our efforts in Africa. For us, this is much more than a name change; it reflects the type of organization we know we need to be for the communities and animals we serve, enables us to build further credibility, and forge stronger connections with like-minded individuals and partners who align with our mission.

We are so grateful to our supporters, partners, followers, and volunteers, in Africa and abroad, who have all made our work thus far possible. And we are incredibly excited to take this next step in our journey. We hope you'll join us!

Welcome to the future of SFW.

With so much gratitude,

John Garcia

CEO & Founder, SFW



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