The ARC mission is to foster conservation through collaboration with the people of rural South Africa, empowering them to make sustainable change in their communities and lives for a better and stronger future through education and development.
“Noting that there are [millions of] children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS... Nothing can shake me more than sight of these innocent young children suffering physically, socially and emotionally.”
— Nelson Mandela
The Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces are the poorest in South Africa, with unemployment reaching 60% in some cities. Educational and healthcare facilities are desperately lacking. The needs of the people are great, with more than one million AIDS orphans in this region.
The area’s fragile economy relies on a healthy tourism industry—which in turn relies on abundant wildlife. Poaching and encroachment are a serious threat to economic stability in the region. Without the animals, the tourists will not come. Without the tourists, what little employment there is will disappear.
ARC founders realize that the most effective conservation efforts come through caring for the people who are stewards of the land and the animals. Providing educational opportunities and access to healthcare empowers people to work toward sustainable development, which helps ensure their economic well-being over time.
ARC—the African Research and Conservation Foundation—is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the United States and Canada. ARC works in partnership with rural communities and NGOs in South Africa to develop attainable solutions to the problems of poverty and lack of access to basic services.