Fulfilling a dream

Valerie James has been a foster parent to our orphans for over 20 years and it has been her dream to come and visit the orphans

Valerie James has been a foster parent to our orphans for over 20 years and it has been her dream to come and visit the orphans.  Earlier this year Valerie entered a competition in the UK, hosted by the ITV channel breakfast show Good Morning Television (GMTV), which offered 5 winners the chance to fulfil their dreams.

Valerie was one of the fortunate winners and on Monday 13th October we welcomed Valerie and a film crew from the UK’s Good Morning Television programme to the Nairobi orphanage.  Early on the following day Valerie and the crew were hosted at our Ithumba reintegration unit by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and our Ithumba head keeper Benjamin.

Starting with Olmeg fostered over 20 years ago through Care for the Wild, now successfully reintegrated back into the wild, Valeria has subsequently fostered both Uaso and Burra, also now back in the wild.  Valerie’s current fostered orphan is Kamboyo who at 4 years of age is one of the 30 orphans at Ithumba and here Valerie could truly fulfil her dream as we made it possible for her to offer Kamboyo his milk out in the bush.

There is no question that Valerie was overwhelmed by the entire experience, not only meeting the orphans and Kamboyo, but having the opportunity to spend time with Dame Daphne, whose pioneering work in the hand-rearing of milk dependent baby elephants has saved the lives of hundreds of elephants, not just in Kenya but around the world.

All whom support our project through fostering an orphan elephant play a pivotal role in the successful rescue and rearing of the orphans so that they might return to the wild.  As without fostering donations we would not be able to cover the project costs.

With 14 elephants under two years of age at our Nairobi nursery, the greatest number in thirty years, and 30 still dependent older orphans presently at our Ithumba Unit, we currently need our foster parents more than ever.  If you would like to foster any of the newest arrivals or the older orphans, for yourself or as gift for friends, please go to the fostering pages.

To view and read more about Val's trip to the orphans please click on this weblink: