Written By: Alexa (Original Spark*l Employee)
At the heart and soul of Spark*l’s Band Together mission to make this world a better place is the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, the very first Band Together charity. Three years ago, Courtney and I were sitting on the floor of her garage packing up boxes containing the bands that were the first additions to our brand new Safari collection. We were rushing to make it in time for the mailman and to send them out into the world. We giggled about how this may be our first real marketing campaign. We had no idea how much bigger it was than a marketing campaign. How much bigger it was than Spark*l.
Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage is a non-profit organization located in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, dedicated to rescuing and caring for injured, orphaned, abused, abandoned, or confiscated wild animals in southern Africa. All animals are given the chance to be released back into the wild, but if they cannot, they are housed permanently at the orphanage and used for education.
Chipangali has been featured in countless documentaries and is now world-renowned for its pioneering work and is famed as one of Africa’s largest and most successful wildlife rehabilitation/release centers.
Nikki Wilson and Kevin Wilson are the current directors of Chipangali, but it was founded almost 50 years ago by Kevin’s late father, Vivian Wilson, and his wife, Paddy Wilson. Chipangali has a deep and rich Zimbabwean wildlife heritage, and it is Kevin’s and Nikki’s life’s work to ensure the importance of that heritage is passed on to future generations through education and conservation.
As such, Chipangali heavily focuses on education with their animals. Their main focus is on local education, but they love to invite foreigners and anyone who comes to visit to benefit from the orphanage. They have a youth environmental program called Epic Kids, where they visit schools to educate children about the importance of conservation.
In about 6 or 7 years, we’ve seen over 450,000 children in the Bulawayo area and have promoted the looking after of wildlife. The progress is slow, but the progress is sure. And that is what is important.
They also utilize volunteer programs to bring in people from all over the world to work alongside the animals. These volunteers help to educate others, but they also participate in a unique opportunity to care for and practice safe conversation methods for wildlife that many will never experience.
Our founder’s daughter, Karly, had the incredible opportunity to participate in this volunteer program and visit Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage! The volunteers help to take care of the vast array of animals at Chipangali, including, but not limited to, monkeys, owls, lions, leopards, kudu, zebras, vultures, flamingos, and so many more!
Since partnering with Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, they have grown and expanded, even during the hardships of Covid. They have undergone several projects, including building a beautiful new enclosure for their growing Kudu family, repainting all of the enclosures, and receiving a vaporizer, which will revolutionize their practice of putting animals under anesthesia to adequately care for them. Nikki and Kevin spoke with such passion about their sanctuary and their animals, it is truly surreal to be a part of something so worthwhile.
It all ends up with everybody pulling in to become part of one happy family. I think for us our journey with you has been, I suppose in one respect one sided, because we’ve had so much to gain from Spark*l Bands. You’ve just become part of our family and I’ll never be able to ever thank you enough. Your family and Spark*l Bands and what you’ve done over the last couple of years with us.
Thank you to all Spark*l Squad members who have supported Chipangali with a purchase or donation. Over the last three years, Spark*l has donated over $100,000 to Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. We are eternally grateful for the wonderful and giving community that we have. Get excited for new additions to the Safari collection!
Our Spark*l Safari Collection has always been an ode to the beauty and strength of the wildlife in Africa. This collection has a variety of gorgeous faux animal hair on hides, printed patterns, and textured leathers. Every material we use to create the bands is made of high-quality and soft leather with a unique design. We have taken a few of the much loved favorites in the Safari Collections and turned them into our most popular style, the Sivella! We will be dropping these all month long to celebrate our three year anniversary of partnering with Chipangali.
While we all love leopard and animal prints (we’re looking at you, Spark*l Squad!), the ultimate reason why this collection is so integral to Spark*l is the chance to give back to such an amazing organization. Chipangali’s mission of conservation and sustainability resonated with us, as we try to incorporate the same practices.
We are proud to share that a portion of proceeds from this collection benefits Chipangali education, conservation, research, and cooperation of wild animals in southern Africa. Thank you for helping us make the world a better place!
CELEBRATE WITH US!
ENJOY 20% OFF THE SAFARI COLLECTION AND NEW BANDS DROPPING ALL MONTH LONG!