This month, LGBG is proud to present and salute Africa Inside. This project is headed by Lori Robinson, Africa Adventures Specialist for the Jane Goodall Institute. Lori’s unbridled passion and commitment to wildlife and natural conservation in Africa have been the guiding forces for her successful conservation work in Africa.
Lori’s remarkable journey to create Africa Inside began with a “life long passion to nature and animals.” While on an assignment in Africa as a fashion model in 1984, Lori realized that her deepening connection to nature and animals happened easier in Africa. From that point on, she has remained committed to helping others identify that passion, namely,”the Africa inside of you.”
Over the years, Lori has dedicated her time to promote conservation through the development of programs to educate Africans about wildlife conservation and environmental protection. Lori cited the need for such programs based on the recognition of significant facts about local African citizens:
- They have no positive direct experience with wildlife.
- They have no emotional attachment to wildlife.
- They receive no benefit from the animals.
Consequently, the locals had to be taught to have compassion for wildlife. Thus, her Africa Inside program teaches children to be wildlife heroes. The success of this program with the African locals’ increased awareness of the value of their land and wildlife and the desire to protect these precious resources speak loudly of Lori’s insight on the need for the younger generation to be the targeted group to educate to effect the needed changes in attitude toward the wildlife and the environment.
A second noteworthy project undertaken by Africa Inside is the elimination of pollution by plastic bags. This project brings attention to the danger of discarded plastic bags in Africa because they cause death to the animals who ingest them out of curiosity. They clog rivers and streams, as well as get caught in bushes, grasses and trees, and they release toxins into the environment when they are burned with garbage. To address the issue of the negative impact of plastic bags on the continent of Africa, Africa Inside developed an effective solution to the plastic bag pollution problem. They organized an exchange whereby a reusable canvas shopping tote from America is given to anyone who has cleaned up 25 plastic bags from the African countryside. This exchange has been overwhelmingly successful. At one point, an exchange removed 320,000 bags from the “plastic pollution cycle.”
At LGBG, we are fascinated by Africa Inside’s success with this simple solution to such a large problem and with the overall success to date. We feel that this is a very special project, and we are eager to get involved to ensure its continued success. Africa Inside’s next plastic litter cleanup will take place in Samburu, Kenya in August 2013. The program needs cloth shopping toes and financial contributions. All contributions are welcome, and no amount is too small. Please go to the Africa Inside website at http://africainside.org/globalconservation/one-wordplastics to see how to contribute or contact us at LGBG for more information on how to get involved in this wonderful project.
Africa Inside truly is a remarkable organization. Driven by a passion for animal life and nature, this organization has maintained focus on solutions to real problems without getting bogged down in bureaucratic entanglements and intricacies. This organization serves as an example of the difference that can be made when passion for a cause is combined with commitment, problem-solving abilities and tenacity. Africa Inside– we are proud to salute you as an example of how to live green, be green.