Dr Cheryl & Manny Mvula - Founders
Mnkhanya Scouts with Dave
The High Five Club was co-founded by Dr Cheryl Mvula MBE & her husband Manny. They are based in the UK but spend a significant amount of their time in Africa working hand in hand with impoverished communities living in wildlife areas of Africa. Their prime source of funding is through an innovative membership scheme, where individuals pledge £5 every month to be used collectively to fund a community project in Africa. The charity runs entirely on voluntary contributions.
Cheryl introduced the Mnkhanya community to Dave Higgs, our OATOKE, when he was on one of his first trips to Zambia on OAT's behalf. Dave lived amongst the community scouts for some days and accompanied them on their anti-poaching patrols in the area. He was particularly touched by the fact that even though they were not properly equipped with uniforms or boots, many were de-snaring in the thick bush with nothing more than flip flops on their feet! He also noted that they had to travel some distance before reaching the patrol areas which was not time efficient and therefore minimised their effectiveness. By the time Dave was ready to leave, we had come up with a plan to help the people and in turn help the animals they were protecting and we decided to issue the Mnkhanya Community Resource Board with a grant. This has proved to be a huge success. The number of snares removed has increased significantly and the general welfare of the community scouts has been uplifted.
What High Five Club does for communities
Health & Nutrition
Creating sustainable livelihoods
How Olsen Animal Trust helps
Enhance the working conditions of a team of Community Wildlife Scouts from Mnkhanya Chiefdom within the Luangwa Valley, Zambia
Provision of uniforms, boots and bicycles to improve the scouts' efficiency and increase areas covered by the de-snaring team
Improve living conditions for the scouts and their families with the construction of a borehole providing fresh, clean water for drinking and crop irrigation. OAT also provide supplementary food during the dry season and fencing to protect their vegetable gardens from wildlife
Project Images - hover over for details
Water borehole in the making
When Dave our OATOKE first visited the Mnkhanya Community he noticed that the people were walking miles to obtain water which was dirty and more than likely contaminated. Realising the importance of supporting wildlife scouts and their families, OAT funded the installation of a new bore hole for the village.
Isaac & the Scouts at the borehole
Isaac, far left, is the Mnkhanya Community Resource Board Officer. Amongst other duties he is responsible for managing the Wildlife Scouts in the community.
Dave with the community kids
Returning from one of the anti-poaching patrols that Dave participated in, he was always greeted by the village children. It was their first experience of an outsider staying and participating in daily village activities. They loved watching films on Dave's laptop in the evenings and The Lion King was a big favourite!
HRH Chief Mnkhanya
When Dave, our OATOKE, visited Mnkhanya he had to get the chief's approval to spend time in the community. Thankfully taking the lead from Manny Mvula on traditional greetings and etiquette, he was granted the permissions needed. The community has in excess of 10,000 people and is one of the poorest in the area. We are delighted to be doing something help the people and wildlife in the area.
The Mnkhanya Community
During the dry months, Nov - Feb (or starvation months as they are known locally), the locals rarely eat a proper meal more than twice a week due to inflated food prices. During this time OAT supplement each village family with additional maize and relish.
A group of 15 Wildlife Scouts protect the Mnkhanya area, two of whom are females. None of them are armed which makes their job highly dangerous, but they fulfil their duties regardless. OAT now provide them with bikes, boots, uniforms, bush tents, bivies and backpacks so they are well-equipped for their job which includes vital anti-poaching patrols and de-snaring operations.
For further information on the work of the High Five Club & the Mnkhanya Community please visit www.highfiveclub.co.uk