I have watched Amara Conservation grow from Lori Bergmann’s private dream into a serious force for change in Kenyan wildlife over the past decade. It’s transformation has been inspiring and persuasive. That Kenyans themselves are running so much of the work, and coming up with their own ideas for projects is important proof that Lori’s dream is now their dream.
The work of Amara Conservation is about more than saving elephants. It has widened the experience and concerns of so many tribal villages up and down the country. Amara’s films shown on improvised screens in village halls and churches have been extraordinary occasions that have touched the lives of everyone who has seen them. The debates they have stimulated afterwards are passionate and challenging.
It is serious and important work to bring about cultural change. That elephants are protected from poaching is a splendid outcome. But that the village people themselves understand why this is important, and how their destruction has harmed everyone’s interests is a crucial life enhancing journey.
It is one I wish we could achieve in so-called developed countries, where indifference to the environmental impact of our consumer choices is still all too obvious. Bravo! I whole heartedly support Amara Conservation’s efforts, and congratulate you and your colleagues on what you have managed to achieve so far on modest resources.
Roger Graef Writer, filmmaker, broadcaster and criminologist. Roger Graef OBE is CEO of Films of Record, a high end documentary company he founded in 1979. He is an award winning filmmaker, criminologist, and writer.
He is best known for his unstaged observational films in normally closed places like board rooms, ministries, prisons, probation, family therapy, special schools, and social work. His films have influenced policing and criminal justice policy.