"No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come."
To all our treasured volunteers, guests, friends and family,
We write hoping that you and your family are safe and protected from COVID-19 and the effects it is having worldwide. Our thoughts are with each and every one of you. This is an unprecedented time of uncertainty, fear and anxiety and we encourage everyone to find the strength to remain calm and take the responsible actions that a situation like this requires.
As many of you will know, we too have closed our doors for now, in compliance with government regulations and to do our bit to isolate and stop the spread of the virus. Now, more than ever, we need to protect our vulnerable community as best we can.
Unfortunately, the already escalating poaching crisis worsens in times like these, and to protect our precious rhino and all other wildlife on Imire, our dedicated conservancy managers and anti-poaching team must continue to work in the field. These brave men put their lives on the line every day and now they do so more than ever. We salute their bravery and commitment and ask that all of you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
We are bitterly disappointed for those volunteers, students and guests whose time with us was cut short or cancelled, and we cannot wait to welcome you back with open arms when this crisis passes.
This time has brought to light how deeply we rely on volunteer assistance and tourism to keep Imire afloat. The hours are long without extra hands, and of course we worry about how our operations will continue without tourism to fund our conservation work. We thank all those who have sent messages of care and support during this time, your love and concern for Imire is so appreciated.
All this being said, we acknowledge the earth in her push for all of us to slow down and really consider what kind of world we want to live in. There is some suggestion that the COVID-19 pandemic may have origin in markets where the wildlife trade is rife. Now, more than ever, the world needs to wake up to the cruelty and abuse of our wildlife and our environment. Let this time be time to reconsider our habits, behaviors and beliefs, and learn the hard but valuable lessons from humanity’s errors.
We embrace this worldwide pause, and all it has to offer. As a dear friend wrote, “The universe is obviously trying to tell us something. We should all stop and listen.” We will be spending our isolation days caring for our animals, nurturing our environment, sharing much needed time with family and planning how to improve all our operations after COVID-19.
Until we meet again, remember,
“No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.”
- African Proverb
And when it does we will see you here, to make the world a better place together.
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If you would like to pop us an email and say hi, we'd love to hear from you! We hope to reopen our volunteer programme as soon as it is safe to do so. We are taking bookings for 2020 and 2021, so if you do have any questions, please get in touch!