Bermudians raise $18,000 for Kenyan charity

  • Good cause: James Chiappa, pictured in Tsavo National Park in Kenya (Photograph supplied)

    Good cause: James Chiappa, pictured in Tsavo National Park in Kenya (Photograph supplied)

A fundraising effort by a Bermudian businessman to benefit conservation projects in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park has raised more than $18,000.

James Chiappa, an underwriter at Chubb, launched the initiative after travelling to Kenya for a safari holiday in 2016, and again in April.

He said donations by Chubb employees, including himself, in the amount of $4,450 were matched by the company.

Mr Chiappa also enlisted the help of his friend, Scooter Mart owner Nick Thomson, who pledged to donate $100 to the cause for every bike sold over a one-week period.

Twenty-five bikes were sold over the seven days, resulting in a contribution of $2,500 by the Paget-based business.

Mr Chiappa donated an additional $50 for every bike sold by Scooter Mart.

He said: “I hoped to do more than $10,000, I would have been disappointed with anything less. My goal was $25,000, but I am very happy with $18,200. It went well, I thought.”

He added: “There were fewer donations than I thought there would be, but the people who donated made significant contributions. It was definitely a success.”

Mr Chiappa said he met with Richard Moller, chief executive officer and co-founder of the Tsavo Trust, when he was in Kenya earlier this year, and he has kept the charity boss abreast of fundraising efforts.

He said: “Richard didn’t have any expectations, he was just grateful that we were doing something. When he saw the final numbers, he said ‘wow’. He didn’t think it would have been anything in that region.”

The Tsavo Trust charity supports wildlife conservation, community conservation education and the development of local communities, as well as animal rehabilitation centres.

Kenya’s largest national park, 16,000 square-mile Tsavo, is home to 13,000 elephants — but they are being killed at the rate of 100 per day by ivory poachers and in retaliatory killings in human-wildlife conflicts, Mr Chiappa said.

He said the Tsavo Trust, set up in 2013, has had “a pretty successful run of mitigating poaching”.

Mr Chiappa, who says he receives monthly reports about the efforts being made by the organisation, added: “It still goes on, but to a much lesser degree now.”

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Published Nov 29, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 28, 2019 at 7:13 pm)

Bermudians raise $18,000 for Kenyan charity

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