While continuing with regular fundraisers this year (t-shirts, lemonade stand and a birthday rollerskating fundraiser) Joris has been focusing on helping to raise awareness globally. The Instagram account (kids4cheetahs) he started late last year now has 275 followers and he has spoken about cheetah conservation in his classrooms and with several media outlets.
In August we were lucky enough to return to N/a'an ku sê for a full month of volunteering! We visited the research site Kanaan, futher south in Namibia for the first time and attempted to assist with the collaring of a hyena (which proved to be easier said than done!). We were also able to visit cheetah Joris at Neuras and it was wonderful to see how well he's doing - and that he's still the surly, magnificent cheetah we love. Another highlight of the trip was being able to explore the new Zannier reserve with the research team and watching the African wild dog pack that was released there, and whom we had met as tiny scared pups, run wild and free and successfully hunt for their own food!
We recently launched "Tear Marks for Cheetahs" - a social media campaign to show your support for cheetahs and conservation. Check out the website or instagram account for more information!
We just launched www.kids4cheetahs.com, as well as our first items for sale; cheetah pawprint decals! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077GBQ2RG
Joris on King5 New Day Northwest: http://www.king5.com/entertainment/television/programs/new-day-northwest/10-year-old-ballard-boy-wins-national-award-for-his-work-with-cheetah-preservation/480468303 Neighborhood blog feature: https://westwoodlandballard.com/2017/10/09/ten-year-old-wins-award-donates-prize-money-to-save-cheetahs/
All donations are tax deductible, as N/a'an ku se is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Tax receipts are emailed upon request.
Joris started the 2017 year with a campaign to collect used goods in partnership with Value Village, a local thrift store. For every pound of clothing, books or other items collected, Value Village would pay. Thanks to the generousity of neighbors, family, friends and strangers, Joris collected over 2,000 pounds. We first held a garage sale and then turned the rest into Value Village. Together, the effort made $900+ for N/a'an ku sê! This year Joris also requested to bring back Rollerskating for Cheetahs as his birthday party celebration (in 2016 it was a straight-up fundraiser). The event raised over $1,200! We also decided to run another t-shirt campaign with Booster. We came up with a new t-shirt design and looked at other successful campaigns for inspiration. With N/a'an ku sê's outreach efforts to current and former volunteers, the campaign ended up brining in over $3,300, which immediately made 2017 a record-breaking fundraising year! Joris made sure to write individual thank-you notes to all supporters. At a small gathering of neighbors, Joris also made a presentation about cheetah conservation to neighborhood kids and their parents. Though not a fundraising event, it was great to see him positively influence and encourage other kids! And again, just a couple of weeks before taking off for southern Africa again, we set up and ran a lemonade stand at the Seattle to Portland bike ride. It was fun to hear from repeat customers who remembered us - and of course to inspire more people! The event raised around $400. Joris spent 2.5 weeks at N/a'an ku sê this summer, and it felt even more like a homecoming to him this time. The founders, Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren, also surprised him with a special recognition ceremony where Rudie made Joris (and everyone else!) cry when he descibed how much it helps him to keep going with the very challenging work of conservation, just knowing that Joris is out there and is helping from so far away. And finally, at the end of September, it was announced that Joris was one of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes recipients this year! He received a $5,000 check, which he is, of course, donating to N/a'an ku sê, making his overal total over $19,000. Thank you for your support!
NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE Before leaving on our volunteer trip, we donated the $2,800 we raised this year. Joris and Mama spent 3 great weeks volunteering at N/a'an ku sê this summer. We prepared food and fed the animals, cleaned enclosures and helped with field research. We got to see small and big victories and challenges from up close. We rejoiced when one of the researchers was able to convince a local farmer to release a young leopard he had caught in a live trap back onto his farm; this might seem small - it's just one animal - but it's a huge victory in terms of changing people's minds, and survival of the species. We worried about the lion we had taken to the vet to get stitched up, when he ripped out the stitches - again - and cried when we found out the following month that he hadn't made it. We found an incredible community of people determined, and working tirelessly, to save carnivores in the wild. They welcomed us with open arms and were genuinly excited to have us involved. All this helped to make our resolve to keep supporting this organization even stronger. Mama has signed on with the N/a'an ku sê team to help with grantwriting as well as marketing support. Joris wants to challenge everyone to help buy more collars; we got to see for ourselves how big of a difference these make and Joris promised the Research team to keep on fundraising. Because asking for money from friends and family isn't sustainable, we are launching a letter campaign to local businesses asking for support. For those businesses and indivuals that prefer to donate online we are keeping this page available. Thank you so much for your support!
2015 UPDATE Joris: We raised almost $1800 before going on our trip! The people and the animals at N/a'an ku sê were really happy and really nice. I got to pet a cheetah named Kiki and they showed us lots of other animals like leopards, caracals, an aardvark named Parkie, a rock dassie and pole cats named Mike and Stinky. Stu is an animal scientist and he showed us how he tracks predators with GPS collars. They can see where the leopard or cheetah is and then they'll tell the farmers. It helps so that the farmers don't shoot the animals. Stu said that they were able to buy another GPS collar with the money we raised (they only had to add a little bit more) and we'll get updates on the cheetah that uses the collar. There was a big surprise - they rescued a cheetah cub just before we came and they named it Joris! I want cheetah Joris to grow up big and strong and I want more cheetahs to be safe living in the wild. The people at N/a'an ku sê work really hard to help the cheetahs and I want to continue helping them. I would really like it if you can help!!!! Mama: N/a'an ku sê is one of those rare organizations that not only looks fantastic in writing but is run by a collection of amazingly caring and kind people. They have a sustainable approach to everything they do; from their wildlife conservations efforts to the work they do for and with the Bushmen community to education, outreach and their beautiful lodge. We've been getting periodic updates on cheetah Joris and, besides making Joris feel like an absolute rock star when we visited, they continued singing his praises to anyone who's interested; at one point resulting in him being mentioned in an NBC News article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/poachers-conservationists-use-drones-gps-wildlife-battle-n287611 More information on N/a'an ku sê: http://www.naankuse.com/wildlife-conservation/wildlife-sanctuary.html And please check out this wonderful episode of Animal Orphans, which was filmed a month or two after we were there and features cheetah Joris and the story of how he got three friends to live with; an absolutely lovely example of the work they do there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6CSasc6Fk Thank you for considering to help! ===================================== Original Fundraiser (how it all got started!): My name is Joris and I just turned 7. Cheetahs are my favorite animals because they are beautiful and fast and they are the only big cats that can purr! My mama and I are going on a trip to Namibia in July to go see the cheetahs. Cheetahs are becoming extinct because they get hunted for their fur and sometimes farmers shoot them because the cheetah eats their sheep or goat. It is also hard for cheetahs to get food in places where lions and hyenas live. I think it's very important to save the cheetahs from going extinct and I want to help. Will you help me?