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This year, thanks to your support, Team #24 Eco-Charcoal raised the highest amount in its history of competing in The Fuch’s Elephant Charge – $60,000, all for conservation education in Zambia.
I don’t think a single one of us could have anticipated just how catastrophic the prolonged effects of the pandemic would have on the economy. In 2020 and 2021, the Zambian economy is estimated to have contracted by 1.2% and thousands of jobs have been lost as a result of Covid-19. A study by Florida University determined that before Covid-19 hit, South Luangwa NP generated $30 million for the wider economy (direct fees and multiples effects). Yet, as a result of the impacts of Covid-19 tourism has dropped by over 85% in South Luangwa NP, which means that tourism gross revenues could have dropped to as little as $4.5 million.
It was now more than ever that we knew we had to support the conservation “ecosystem” and fundraise to raise money for the 14 Conservation NGOs that the Elephant Charge supports, with BCP’s Board committing to match every dollar up to $25,000 it meant we could create double the IMPACT!
Excited to unveil Monster Carbon 2.0 – a Jeep Wrangler, in this year’s Charge, the Team was put at a slight disadvantage when the jeep experienced mechanical issues during the final days leading up to the Charge. Bringing our previous Charge car out of retirement was the only choice the team had to compete in this year’s Charge. Despite our best effort to pull through, we knew that we were starting with a weaker platform using a 33 year old car with 540,000 kms on the clock and no overhaul. Due to what can only be described as ‘severe mechanical malfunctions beyond repair’, the Team ultimately finished 25th out of 33 with a DNF (did not finish: 22 teams successfully completed the Charge this year). Our front propeller shaft snapped in two, our brakes caught fire and failed, and our rear winch packed up—all on a steep hill. It took us the rest of the day trying to recover the vehicle and get it downhill. There were no injuries, and everyone had a good time, but it was definitely more drama than we had hoped for.
Testament to the Team’s best efforts to persevere at all costs they came home with The Properly Shafted Award but most importantly, thanks to YOUR donations, the Team returned triumphantly once again with The Sausage Tree Trophy for Most Funds Raised! With the entire sum of $60,000 that the Team raised going to the 14 Conservation NGOs that the Elephant Charge supports.
We have been blown away by your support and willingness to give. We set out to raise $50,000, but because of your generosity, together with the Board’s generous donation, we surpassed that by 20%! A special tribute needs to go out to the amazing team of organizers that volunteer their time and effort every year to make the Fuch’s Elephant Charge happen! Now in its 14th year, the event has raised close to $1.5 million for conservation, with this year raising a whopping $232,000 in a day for conservation; a 66% increase over 2020.
To each and every single person who donated, from the bottom of our hearts – Thank you!