It all came about a couple of years ago working for Pink Chillies. A young company with a great ethical ethos and having a love of elephants. Supporting them with their social media activity I got to read a lot about elephants and the struggles faced by them which have reached unprecedented proportions. I live in hope that the unnecessary slaughter will stop and that the younger generations will grow up in a world that is not devoid of such beautiful creatures which are vital to this planet.
So let's look a little closer to home in France at Elephant Haven – a very new non profit organisation. Sofie and Tony arrived in France in September last year, with their big plan and dream to create the first elephant retirement home in the Limousin region of France. I quickly offered my services in a volunteer capacity when I met them back in November 2014. With support garnered in their home country of Belgium a move to France meansa new culture, new bureaucracy and new ways of getting their message out here in France.
With those big plans and dreams come big financial commitments and the Elephant Haven need by 31st March 2015 €440,000 to purchase the land earmarked for the retirement home. I share their enthusiasm in wanting to see this project fruition, for many reasons. Personally, knowing that there will be elephants less than a 2 hour drive from my rural French town puts a huge smile on my face. Knowing that they can retire in peace, calm and comfort brought about by determination, courage and no doubt many sleepless nights by two people who are extremely passionate about this project really spurs me on. There are retirement homes all over the globe. There is absolutely no reason why there shuold not be one in France. The positive effects for the local community and the country in general have yet to be realised.
And I want to share that enthusiasm with you dear reader, so that you might feel a bit of what I'm feeling and take some kind of action. Sofie and Tony have been told by French and non French alike that this is a crazy idea that won't happen. When I hear the words 'won't' it makes me more determined. So collectively we can turn 'won't' into job done!
Here's how small businesses can help the Elephant Haven:
- Visit their website www.elephanthaven.com – have a read. While you are there, make a donation, however small or large.
- Sign up to to their newsletter for regular updates.
- Like their Facebook page and share their updates.
- Follow them on Twitter @elephanthaven
- Include details about them in your newsletter. Quote #Land4Elephants
- Write a blog about them and circulate.
- Create a page on your website and give them a dedicated space, so that your visitors can read about them too.
- Orangise a quick and simple fund-raising event. There are plenty of ideas in their fund-raising pack – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have a physical presence – offer to take some wristbands or a donation tin
- Share in their determination.