Join Our Building Campaign

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you probably know that in March we embarked on a building campaign and have made significant fundraising progress. If not, let’s catch you up on the project that includes one more matching challenge that could fund it all!

The orphanage’s seams are bursting with both four-legged and two-legged residents, and it’s time to do something about our space challenges. A generous donor provided the funds to acquire the land we need for expansion, and a trio of long-time donors funded a $200,000 matching campaign. We met that match and the $400,000 total is enough to fund half of the total expansion/renovations cost. Thank you to everyone that donated $50, $150 or more. Every dollar counts.

Now that we can start on those projects, we were offered a second $200,000 matching challenge out of the blue! If we can raise that, our project list will be 100% funded. Knowing we had raised half the funds, this generous donor wanted to help us raise the rest ASAP, so there would be no worries about pauses in construction or some projects getting pushed into next year.

We’ve drawn up the plans and have quotes for the many building projects and renovations. They consist of some much-needed improvements for our staff plus exciting expansions for the elephants.  

Here is a breakdown of all the building projects that are on our “MUST DO NOW” list. Please know that we are here to answer any and all questions you may have about these projects, and we are sincerely grateful for every donation we receive.

Expand the elephants’ formula kitchen

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The kitchen, with one sink and a single small burner, is only big enough for one person to heat and mix 13 two-liter bottles of milk formula every three hours, around the clock. It needs to be doubled in size to work more efficiently and also accommodate all the milk bottles, equipment, and supplies for our growing herd.

Project price:  $28,000

Build a new nursery for the littlest babies and add individual bomas for the older orphans

We’ll build a more enclosed area for the 6-months and younger babies who need more heat and shelter during cold winter nights. Larger enclosures are the personal night-time retreats for the older herd members. In January, before we walked the five larger elephants over to the soft release, we had to double up some of the older babies. Not ideal, as elephants need space of their own each night.

Project price:  $59,000

Renovate current staff village

Our staff lives onsite, and we originally built nine rooms for employees and a small staff kitchen. This living area has already been expanded once with six more duplex tents, but we now have 43 employees! It is beyond time to renovate the facilities.

  • Double the size of our tiny staff kitchen which currently feeds twice the crowd it was designed for. It’s a small miracle that our chef prepares 43 meals, 3 times a day in such a small kitchen with only a four-burner stove and a small refrigerator.
  • Move the laundry from the center of elephant activity to the main staff village for added efficiency and to free up the space for the elephant kitchen expansion.
  • Separate existing facilities (showers and toilets) in the main staff village from the kitchen complex and entirely rebuild them using durable, state-of-the-art materials.

Project price:  $230,000

Build a new remote staff village further out on the property

Build a 16-unit village with a common area, laundry, new showers and new toilets. We’ll be able to readily expand this area without encroaching on the elephant habitat and operation. It will be self-sustaining as to water, sanitary sewer, and solar power.

Project price:  $432,000

Modify shipping containers into offices at the boma complex

We have added a new shipping container to retrofit as offices for the facilities manager and elephant handler team.

Project price:  $9,000

New entrance gate, guard house, and toilet facilities

The Elephant Havens boundaries have moved with our recent land expansions, and traffic from visitors has increased dramatically. Currently we have a manually operated rolling gate and no guard house. We’ve grown enough that we need to regulate entries and exits and also patrol visitors, so we’ll build a new welcome feature and guard house. Additional toilet facilities for visitors will also be built.

Project price:  $18,000

Our list could go on and on, but we are prioritizing our greatest needs of the moment. That’s why this matching challenge means so much. With this $200,000 matching challenge, any amount you donate, small or large, is worth DOUBLE. All donations are tax-deductible.

You can also help by spreading the word about Elephant Havens. Tell your friends and neighbors about our mission to protect and preserve the African elephant. Forward our newsletter. Share this blog post, or share our daily dose of elephant cuteness on Facebook and Instagram, and our heart-warming videos on YouTubeLet people know they can visit and see the babies in person. It will change their life. Those of you who have visited know what we mean.

Thank you, again, for every bit of support in every way. It’s not our orphanage, it’s yours. We couldn’t do any of this without you.

Debra, Scott and Bee

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