Saving the Wild’s update from Africa

Jamie Joseph, and the New Zealand charity she founded, Saving the Wild, has come a long way since she first approached Comvita back in 2019 for a Mānuka honey donation for vets to treat rhino poaching survivors in Africa. A year later she was working on the frontline of the Australian bushfires, her van packed full with donated Comvita Mānuka honey and Comvita Medihoney™ Wound Gel, tending to wildlife in apocalyptic conditions.  

Fast forward to present day, and her team’s epic battle to take down rhino poaching syndicates in South Africa is the inspiration for a movie currently being produced by Hollywood star Margot Robbie and her production company LuckyChap.

Saving the Wild Beekeeping Project is now sustainable

This month marks a major milestone for the partnership, with the Saving the Wild Bee Keeping Project becoming sustainable. The project is supported and financed by Comvita and implemented by their Kenyan partner Big Life Foundation (BLF). 

honey frame

After surviving the 2022 drought, a promising harvest of 235kg of honey in July 2023 was followed by plentiful rainfall, and the BLF team are right now harvesting and processing the honey in the Amboseli-Kimana ecosystem. Saving the Wild acacia honey is sold in safari lodges and retailers in Kenya, and profits from the sale of the honey will be invested this year into school scholarships for the local Maasai children, the future guardians of this great wild place.

Says Jamie, “The two greatest challenges facing the planet’s wildlife is poaching and habitat loss. Thanks to Comvita we are able to secure wild land through bee keeping. And for me personally, it’s been a very positive thing to have something else to focus on other than organised crime. It’s made me a better, more holistic conservationist and I cannot thank them enough for their unwavering support.”

Our Saving the Wild WOMEN ready to complete their first harvest

Saving the Wild Women was the second bee project Comvita collaborated on, with a goal of empowering young Maasai women to gain financial independence through bee keeping. Just as the project was getting started, the drought tore through the Amboseli-Kimana ecosystem and the wildlife death toll started to rise.  


“We were suddenly out of our depth,” says Jamie. “And so I immediately sent a red alert message to Carlos Zevallos, Head of Apiary Development at Comvita New Zealand, and he joined us on the ground and got us back on track. Comvita provided much needed bee keeping equipment, and decades of experience during a time when we needed it the most.”

Nowadays the flowers are in full bloom and the honey is capped, and this year a small group of local girls will participate in their first harvest, with ongoing training until they complete their schooling and can take up bee keeping as a full-time vocation.

“Maasai culture is a patriarchal society prone to child marriage, so these small steps are actually big steps because we are contributing to a shift in culture, one independent young woman at a time,” concludes Jamie. 

The pursuit of justice continues…

Jamie is currently in South Africa attending the disciplinary hearing of a suspended Court President facing 162 charges, with the criminal case starting in May in the High Court where he is facing possible life in prison. Saving the Wild was granted amicus curiae owing to their contribution to the investigation, and their team of pro bono attorneys will be closely following the proceedings, with a view of making substantive, closing submissions towards the end of the proceedings.

Please support Jamie in her pursuit of justice by following her on Instagram @jamie_savingthewild or you can donate to help support nature in need, at Saving the Wild

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