Human population growth is a major threat to biodiversity and Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050. When poor rural communities rely on healthy ecosystems for food, water and livelihoods their interests and those of conservationists are the same. The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) works in rural communities which often face significant barriers to accessing voluntary family planning services. Even when such services exist, often women are not allowed to exercise their choice because of their male partners. When these communities also face high levels of sexual and gender based violence, HIV and unemployment, it’s easy to see how each problem exacerbates the others.
To confront this situation the EWT and Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP) are seeking to establish a new social innovation. Integrating the conservation and livelihood generation actions of the EWT with actions eradicating sexual and gender based violence, contraceptive supply and HIV/AIDS education by TVEP confronts these issues together. By integrating their work, greater benefits can result for communities and ecosystems.
The EWT and TVEP have made a joint application to Hivos for funding, via the Social Innovation Award, to fund the development of this programme. There are over 200 hundreds other applicants and to be among the twenty semi-finalists the EWT and TVEP are relying on public votes. If you support increasing access to voluntary family planning, eradicating sexual and gender based violence, child abuse and HIV/AIDS stigma, are passionate about conservation and understand the significance of the relationship between people and their environment you can vote for the EWT and TVEP application by clicking here.