Sewing for Species

Sewing for Species

Sewing for Species

 The CCFA Sewing for Species initiative boosts a South African community business with commissioned wildlife mascots. It spreads awareness about CCFA and funds our community conservation projects for Africa’s wildlife preservation.

Project Overview

 

Project location: 
Kylemore, Western Cape, South Africa

Project category: 
Community, Conservation

Project timeframe:
Since 2019

 

Overview

 

Project location: 
Kylemore, Western Cape, South Africa

Project category: 
Community, Conservation

Project timeframe:
Since 2019

Project partners:

  • Baby Cuddles 

Project Vision:

  •  The CCFA Sewing for Species initiative boosts a South African community business with commissioned wildlife mascots. It spreads awareness about CCFA and funds our community conservation projects for Africa’s wildlife preservation.

Project vision

Project Vision

Our vision for the project is to empower women in Kylemore by creating a demand for traditional, handmade, sustainable CCFA Mascots. This not only supports employment but also raises awareness and funds for wildlife conservation in Africa.

Project Partners

Baby Cuddles

Listen to a radio interview from December 2023 with Baby Cuddles founder, Melanie Laing: Click here

Project goals

Project goal
  • Support the creation of an additional employment opportunity each year for a woman in Kylemore 
  • Generate awareness and funds for wildlife conservation in Africa through CCFA Mascots 

 

Fundraising target
  • $5,000 per year 

Project updates

CCFA Mascots & Products

Since the beginning of the Sewing for Species Initiative in 2019, our CCFA range has grown to include: 

  • Rhino mascots 
  • Elephant mascots 
  • Turtle mascots 
  • Gorilla mascots 
  • Bongo antelope mascots 
  • African Penguin mascots 
  • Cheetah mascots 
  • Giraffe mascots 
  • Owl mascots 
  • Christmas stockings 
  • Picnic blankets

View our range at our online shop

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are integrated—they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

How to support this project

Donate

Saving the Graceful Giants

Saving the Graceful Giants

The Importance of Giraffe Conservation 

Giraffes, with their towering height and distinctive spotted coat, are among the most iconic and majestic creatures on Earth. Often referred to as the “gentle giants” of the savannah, these magnificent animals play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitats. However, like many other species, giraffes face a range of threats that put their survival at risk. In this blog, we will explore the importance of giraffe conservation and the efforts being made to protect these graceful giants.

Giraffe Population Decline

Despite their popularity and recognition, giraffe populations have been declining steadily in recent years. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), giraffes are listed as “vulnerable” on the Red List of Threatened Species. In the past three decades, the global giraffe population has experienced a significant decline, dropping by almost 40%. One of the main factors contributing to this decline is habitat loss due to human activities, such as agriculture, deforestation, and urbanization.

Threats to Giraffe Survival

  1. Habitat Fragmentation: As human populations expand, giraffe habitats become fragmented, isolating giraffe populations and hindering their ability to move freely in search of food, water, and suitable mates.
  2. Illegal Poaching: Giraffes face the threat of poaching for their meat, hide, and tail hair, which are used in traditional cultural practices. Additionally, trophy hunting poses a significant threat to certain giraffe subspecies.
  3. Climate Change: The impact of climate change disrupts the availability of food and water sources for giraffes, leading to reduced reproductive success and overall survival rates.
  4. Human-Wildlife Conflict: As giraffes’ natural habitats are encroached upon by human settlements, conflicts can arise between people and these animals, leading to retaliation against giraffes.

Conservation Initiatives

The CCFA contributes to giraffe conservation in various ways:

  1. Habitat Conservation: Preserving natural landscapes is crucial for giraffes.
  2. Anti-Poaching Efforts: Various initiatives combat illegal poaching by increasing patrols and collaborating with law enforcement agencies to crack down on wildlife trafficking.
  3. Community Involvement: Involving local communities in conservation efforts is essential. By promoting sustainable practices and ecotourism, these initiatives ensure that communities benefit economically from preserving wildlife.
  4. Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about conservation helps foster a deeper understanding of the challenges these animals face and encourages support for conservation efforts.

The Impact of Giraffe Conservation

Apart from protecting the giraffe species itself, conservation efforts also have broader implications. Preserving giraffes means safeguarding their habitats, which benefits numerous other plant and animal species that depend on these ecosystems for their survival. Healthy ecosystems play a crucial role in carbon sequestration, climate regulation, and maintaining biodiversity.

What You Can Do to Help

Supporting giraffe conservation doesn’t require extraordinary efforts. Here are some simple steps you can take to make a difference:

  1. Support Conservation Organizations: Consider donating to reputable organizations that focus on giraffe conservation or volunteering your time to support their efforts.
  2. Raise Awareness: Share information about giraffe conservation on social media, among friends, and within your community to increase awareness and promote understanding.
  3. Sustainable Choices: Make environmentally conscious choices in your daily life, such as reducing your ecological footprint and supporting sustainable products.
  4. Responsible Tourism: If you plan to visit areas where giraffes roam, opt for responsible tour operators and activities that prioritize wildlife protection.
  5. Consider purchasing a CCFA Giraffe mascot – the profits go directly to conserving the natural habitats these majestic animals need to thrive.

Preserving nature’s graceful giants

Giraffes hold a special place in the hearts of people around the world. Their grace, beauty, and unique presence enrich our planet’s biodiversity. However, without concerted conservation efforts, these gentle giants may disappear from the wild forever. By supporting giraffe conservation initiatives and raising awareness about their plight, we can contribute to ensuring a future where giraffes continue to roam freely and inspire generations to come. The CCFA is dedicated to protecting these remarkable creatures through conserving the habitats they call home.

How to support our Giraffe Conservation Efforts

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Row for Rhinos: Uniting for Rhino Conservation

Row for Rhinos: Uniting for Rhino Conservation

Rowing Nonstop, Guarding Nonstop: Protecting Rhinos 24/7!

Nelson Mandela Bay’s very own “Rhino Warrior,” Sharon Jessop, has organised another incredible challenge in support of rhinos! We at the CCFA are thrilled to be the conservation beneficiary of this remarkable event, which aims to bolster our Rhino Conservation initiative in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Rowing Round the Clock for Round the Clock Rhino Protection!

Row for Rhinos: On the 4th and 5th of August 2023, a dynamic team of 12 rowers, consisting of 6 talented boys from Grey High School and 6 remarkable ladies will come together to attempt a new Guinness World Record for indoor distance rowing. Each Grey High School boy will be teamed up with a lady rower and each team will share a Concept II rower. Each participant will row for 30 minutes and rest for 30 minutes while the other team member rows. This will continue for 24 hours, and the total distance rowed by all 12 rowers will count towards the Guinness World Record. The event will take place at Nelson Mandela Bay’s Boardwalk Mall.

This exhilarating endeavour serves a dual purpose: raising essential funds and creating awareness for the conservation of rhinos. Our Eastern Cape rhinos face ongoing threats, and we strongly believe that it is both our duty and privilege to play a part in saving this iconic species.

By supporting this event, you can contribute to our planned Rhino Conservation Project at Nyosi Wildlife Reserve, a peri-urban sanctuary located in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Here the CCFA strives to make this space available for rhinos to thrive. The Reserve’s ideal habitat, combined with a meticulously designed rhino management plan, will ensure the best possible conditions for these majestic creatures.

At present, the white rhino population stands at approximately 16,000, with the majority residing in South Africa. Sadly, over the past decade, their numbers have plummeted due to escalating poaching activities driven by the demand for rhino horn products in the Far East. Since 2008 nearly 12,000 rhino have been killed in poaching incidents. This shows why it has become crucial to enhance security measures and safeguard rhinos in their natural habitats.

Rowing 24 hours for 24-hour rhino protection

The CCFA aims to raise funds for the 24-hour guarded protection of the rhinos earmarked for introduction at Nyosi Wildlife Reserve. Additionally, our Rhino Conservation initiative encompasses a community empowerment and education program. Already, two inspiring “Rhino Champions” have benefited from the initiative by securing internships at the Reserve. The internships were specifically funded as part of a grant to support the costs of the rhino capture and relocation. These interns graduated from a youth development course, a vital component of the CCFA’s Greening Young Futures initiative. As wildlife conservation ambassadors, the Rhino Champions play a pivotal role in their communities, emphasizing the mutual benefits between the rhinos and their human counterparts. It’s an encouraging cycle of growth and protection.

We invite you to be a part of our Rhino Conservation initiative by supporting the Row for Rhinos event. Every contribution counts! To make a difference and support the cause, simply click on the link below.

Together, let’s row toward a brighter future for our beloved rhinos. Join us in championing their conservation efforts and ensuring their continued existence. Your support can make all the difference.

 

How will your donation support rhino conservation?

  • R100 / $5 will feed a rhino for a day (supplementary feed to keep them in great health)
  • R300 / $15 will sponsor security fence patrols for a day
  • R1,000 / $50 will sponsor a conservation awareness session for a school class of 30 pupils
  • R2,000 / $100 will provide 24-hour guarded protection for a rhino for a day

How to support our Rhino Conservation Efforts

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From Captivity to Freedom

From Captivity to Freedom

Introducing the Trailblazing Cheetah in our Rewilding Project

We are thrilled to share a momentous update with all our supporters and partners! It is with great pride that, in collaboration with Nyosi Wildlife Reserve, we have officially welcomed Nkanyiso, the very first captive cheetah to embark on our ground-breaking Cheetah Rewilding Programme. This remarkable endeavour has been made possible through a joint effort with our specialist partners, The Aspinall Foundation and The Metapopulation Initiative. Together, we are dedicated to securing a bright future for this iconic species.

In April 2023, Nkanyiso was carefully introduced to our cheetah rewilding enclosure, providing her with a nurturing environment to gradually adapt to her new surroundings. Since then, we have been overjoyed to witness her progress. Her diet was transitioned to wild meat, allowing her to acclimate to consuming antelope and refine her hunting skills by cutting through prey hide to access nourishing meat and organs. Our dedicated conservation team was delighted to see her displaying a keen interest in the antelope passing by the enclosure, as well as ground birds.

Nkanyiso was born in the Limpopo region of South Africa at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre where the cheetahs are earmarked for release at roughly three to four years of age. The cheetahs at the centre are known for their pure bloodlines, which is important. Because the cheetah species went through a ‘genetic bottleneck’ it is vital to coordinate the movement of cheetahs between the different reserves to preserve their genetic integrity. This effort forms the basis of the cheetah metapopulation project.

May marked another significant milestone as Nkanyiso was fitted with a state-of-the-art GPS tracking collar, generously donated by conservation organization, Over and Above Africa. This cutting-edge technology enables us to closely monitor her movements and precisely track her location in the reserve.

First steps toward freedom

The 19th of June 2023 marked a significant moment in her journey towards a life of freedom and fulfilment. Exactly two months after her arrival, Nkanyiso was released into the reserve where she now enjoys access to 2,500 hectares of protected wilderness – the most space she has ever had to roam. It was an emotional moment for the conservation team to watch her leave all that was familiar and stride off into unchartered territory, which she did with very little hesitation. There will be new challenges for Nkanyiso as she explores and familiarises herself with this vast new area. She will need to learn to hunt and there will be risks such as becoming injured while hunting. On her first evening, after tracking her to assess how she was doing, the team was astounded to see that she had killed a baby blesbok!

Throughout her rewilding journey, Nkanyiso will be under meticulous observation, with her activities carefully documented. We hold steadfast hope that her innate hunting instincts will be honed quickly, empowering her to consistently provide for herself in her natural habitat. However, should we notice a brief period of 2-3 days without successful hunts, we will provide her with nourishment to keep her energized. This compassionate approach will allow her to build her strength, improve her fitness, and fine-tune her hunting skills, ensuring her prosperous future.

A special ‘hand-in-paw’ journey

This rewilding initiative is an integral part of our broader commitment through the Cheetah Champion Programme. For each cheetah we rewild, we empower a local community member. In Nkanyiso’s case, we have paired her with the incredible Anele Ntshiyane, an aspiring safari field guide who graduated from our youth development programme, Greening Young Futures. Anele and Nkanyiso are embarking on a remarkable “hand-in-paw” journey, benefiting from each other’s participation in the programme. Through this project, Anele will be enrolled in an accredited field guide course, equipping her with invaluable skills to begin her safari guiding career at Nyosi. In turn, Anele serves as a wildlife conservation ambassador, inspiring her community adjacent to the Nyosi Wildlife Reserve.

Nkanyiso was named by Anele, with her name meaning ‘light’ in the Xhosa language. This symbolism reflects Nkanyiso’s role as the first captive cheetah in our rewilding programme, lighting the way for other captive cheetahs to follow in her rewilding tracks.

Team reflections

Our Executive Director, Taryn Gillson highlights some unique aspects of this project, “We are excited about the direct link of mutual benefit between people and wildlife through this project… Anele’s community will understand that she is benefitting specifically because of Nkanyiso. This project also showcases how peri-urban reserves that are relatively small compared with more remote conservation areas, can play a significant role in the conservation of threatened species.” CCFA Chairman Adrian Gardiner further expands on this sentiment, expressing, “This reserve – Nyosi – is a first in the world; it’s the only wildlife reserve within the metropolitan area of two cities, one being coastal, and we’re excited to show the greater community what difference a game reserve here can make. Because if they see the value in what we’re doing, the number of people we employ, the multiplier effect, the value we can add back and the lives that we change, I think that this is going to be something very special.”

Conservation is certainly a collaborative effort, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our supporters and partners for their unwavering support throughout this ambitious endeavour. Together, we are forging a path towards a brighter future for cheetahs and the communities that surround them. Stay tuned for more updates as Nkanyiso’s rewilding journey unfolds!

Additional information:

How to support our Cheetah Rewilding Project

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Rehoming Success: Celebrating the Journey of the “Kalahari Female” Cheetah

Rehoming Success: Celebrating the Journey of the “Kalahari Female” Cheetah

From the Kalahari to Limpopo via the Eastern Cape!

We are thrilled to share some wonderful news with you – the cheetah affectionately known as the “Kalahari Female” has been successfully rehomed! After being captured at Nyosi Wildlife Reserve in the Eastern Cape on the 8th of June 2023, she embarked on a journey to her new home at Selati Game Reserve, arriving safely just 24 hours later.

The Kalahari Female and her brother had been under the care of Nyosi as foster cheetahs. Our partners at The Metapopulation Initiative worked tirelessly to find permanent homes for these precious felines. It was essential to relocate the Kalahari siblings to separate reserves to ensure the preservation of the cheetah species’ genetic integrity and contribute to the cheetah metapopulation project.

Undoubtedly, operations like these come with their fair share of challenges, and the team approached this task with the utmost care. Veterinary procedures for cheetahs carry a 20-30% risk of complications, and our team took every possible precaution to minimize any potential risks. Unfortunately, despite our careful planning, the Kalahari Male experienced complications during his sedation in April 2023 when he was being moved to a larger Eastern Cape reserve, resulting in his untimely passing while in transit. These projects involve risks for both the animals and our dedicated team members. Nevertheless, with the overall cheetah population continuing to grow, we firmly believe that the conservation benefits of successful relocations far outweigh the risks, and our commitment to cheetah conservation remains unwavering.

For the capture and translocation of the Kalahari Female in June, we employed a helicopter with a skilled game capture pilot to dart her swiftly. This allowed us to fit her with a GPS collar, conduct necessary health checks, and place her in a transport crate with minimal stress. The Nyosi team dedicated the morning to tracking her, ensuring we knew her precise location before the game capture team arrived. This meticulous planning resulted in an exceptionally smooth operation. Our wildlife veterinarian adopted a conservative approach to drug administration, prioritizing the well-being of the cheetah and reducing the chances of complications.

Once securely placed in her crate, the cheetah regained consciousness. Although slightly disoriented, she found comfort in her natural wooden crate during the journey to Selati Game Reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. To ensure her safety and well-being, the cheetah transport team made a brief overnight stop to rest before continuing the journey.

The joy and relief our team experienced upon learning of her safe arrival at her new home were immeasurable. She was released into an enclosure where she could acclimate to her surroundings. This journey marked the end of her long travels, and we have every confidence that she will settle in splendidly. We eagerly await news of future cubs, hopeful that she will continue the legacy of the “Kalahari Siblings”.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the incredible team and partners who supported and assisted us throughout this operation. The collaboration and dedication of the following organizations and individuals have made this rehoming a success:

  • The Metapopulation Initiative
  • The Aspinall Foundation
  • HeliPilot
  • Dr Murray Stokoe
  • Stenden South Africa
  • CONSEC
  • Indalo NPC
  • Nyosi Wildlife Reserve

Together, we are making a significant impact on cheetah conservation, and this successful rehoming serves as a testament to our collective efforts. The cheetah population continues to thrive due to projects like these, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect and preserve this magnificent species.

Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on new endeavours to safeguard the future of cheetahs and their habitats. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for these iconic big cats.

Additional information:

How to support our Cheetah Rewilding Project

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