Amara Mobile Film Unit

We show environmental education films to people in rural areas – where there is no electricity, no plumbing, and many people have no exposure to film of any kind. When it’s known that a film unit is arriving, folks will walk for miles. Each person reached this way is profoundly influenced. African Environmental Film Foundation’s (AEFF) films are made for the people of East Africa; narrated in local languages, to teach people about wildlife and critical environmental issues.

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The people living around Conservation Areas are the ones who have all the impact upon those areas. They live with human wildlife conflict and – due to population increases, bushmeat poaching, overgrazing and illegal logging and charcoal – have ever decreasing natural resources to sustain them. Once they learn about how their activities impact the environment, they are eager to change and protect their precious resources.

Amara’s Mobile Film Unit works closely with the people, showing films in schools in the daytime and villages at night; holding in-depth discussions before and after films opens minds and doors to change.

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And we go back, again and again. This ongoing relationship is what works.

Human wildlife conflict is a serious issue that faces most of the residents in these areas, and animosity towards the larger wildlife species is ingrained. Engaging people in discussions about “the bigger picture”, openly talking about critical issues like elephants eating crops/killing people, low standards of living, lack of water and fuel resources, drought and food – and what can be done about it – leads to finding solutions.

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Our staff has a great deal of experience in the Tsavo region. Before coming to Amara, some of our key staff worked at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust raising orphaned elephants and doing extensive desnaring work in and around Tsavo National Park. We know elephants intimately, we know the people in the communities, and we understand the issues they are facing. Moreover, we have worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Community Outreach departments for years.

The films we show are primarily those of the African Environmental Film Foundation (AEFF).

Simon Trevor has been a filmmaker for nearly 40 years – his credits include Director of Bloody Ivory, Second Unit Director of Out of Africa and Gorillas in the Mist, and numerous award-winning documentaries for Survival Anglia. He has devoted himself and his archived footage to AEFF, and has been joined in this effort by his daughter Tanya and her husband, Ian Saunders.

AEFF is making educational films about environmental, wildlife and conservation issues, for the people of Africa, in their own languages. The films show how environmental degradation and destruction of wildlife cause poverty, and illustrate the direct financial benefits that African communities can gain by conserving their environment and wildlife – probably the greatest long-term, self-renewing resources the continent will ever have.

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Amara exists to HELP.

Amara depends on ongoing private donations to fund our operations in Kenya.

The only way elephants and wildlife in Kenya have a chance is if the people want that to be so. The people who LIVE with the elephants. The people whose crops are eaten by elephants, the people who rely upon the tourism dollars that come into the country and support it. They are realizing the impact of these current activities. In Amara’s classes and work we discuss and show films on how their ecosystem works and how humans can make a difference.

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Jacob organizing kids into school

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