- Organization Name:A Rocha USA
- Address:PO Box 1338
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
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A Rocha is an international Christian organization, which, inspired by God’s love, engages in scientific research, environmental education and community-based conservation projects in 19 countries around the world. A Rocha Kenya, one of the A Rocha National Organizations, is committed to conservation and community development through field study centers, research and monitoring, environmental education and community conservation.
A Rocha currently works in 19 countries around the world as a network of National Organizations. While each has its own local relevance, support and impact, the A Rocha National Organizations are all identified by five core commitments and to the practical outworking of each:
• Christian - Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society.
• Conservation - We carry out research for the conservation and restoration of the natural world and run environmental education programs for people of all ages.
• Community - Through our commitment to God, each other and the wider creation, we aim to develop good relationships both within the A Rocha family and in our local communities.
• Cross-cultural - We draw on the insights and skills of people from diverse cultures, both locally and around the world.
• Cooperation - We work in partnership with a wide variety of organizations and individuals who share our concerns for a sustainable world.
A Rocha USA (www.arocha.us) is submitting this proposal on behalf of A Rocha Kenya (ARK) (www.arocha.org/kenya). ARK works at the interface of great poverty and rich biodiversity to achieve the long-term conservation of threatened habitats and species in the Malindi-Watumu area of coastal Kenya, while promoting community development through education and eco-tourism. There are four main initiatives that ARK is involved in:
1. Environmental Education – ARK implements educational programs and activities for the community and for tourists, partnering with local schools, environmental groups, eco-tourism facilities and churches to teach about creation care, sustainable resource management and the importance of conservation.
2. Community-Based Conservation – ARK is located on coastal Kenya, in a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve and Important Bird Area. It is home to a wide variety of species, some of which are endangered or threatened. ARK recognizes that as the wildlife fights for survival, so do the people living around the forest and creek, and if these habitats are to survive then local people must also benefit from their conservation. Thus ARK’s conservation efforts are community based and connected to the well being of local people. This primarily is achieved through ASSETS (Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-Tourism Scheme). Launched in 2001 by ARK and collaborative partners, ASSETS provides solutions to these inter-connected challenges with a holistic program involving conservation, education and eco-tourism.
3. Field Study Centers – Mwamba Center is essentially a guesthouse with comfortable accommodations, local food and unique activities. Tourists of all types are attracted to the center and surrounding eco-facilities as it is ideally situated as a base to explore the rich diversity of coastal habitats in the Watamu-Malindi area. It is intentionally called a “Field Study Center” as guests are invited to join in with ongoing conservation activities as part of the ‘team’. Tourism raises funds for ASSETS, educates visitors about the importance of conservation in this area and supports continued protection and restoration there.
4. Research and Monitoring – ARK and collaborative partners are committed to ensuring the long-term survival of the vast biodiversity in this region. This includes corals, seagrass, mangroves, fish, turtles, various bird species and many more. The ongoing data collection, high quality systematic research and monitoring conducted by ARK and its partners is essential to understanding these populations, their status and the impact of global warming and human activity. ARK also equips local amateur observers and conservation professionals to help collect vital data, which is shared with local communities. New ways of interacting with the environment are learned, and effective land management strategies are developed so that Kenya's rich biodiversity will remain for future generations.
A Rocha (meaning “the rock” in Portuguese) began with the establishment of a field study center in Portugal in 1983. It’s founders, Peter and Miranda Harris, lived at the center for twelve years with their four children until 1995 when the work was given over to national leadership. They moved to establish A Rocha France’s first center near Arles, and lived there until 2010, providing coordination and giving leadership to the rapidly growing global A Rocha movement. Today, they support the worldwide A Rocha family from the UK, where they are originally from.
A Rocha USA (ARUSA) is an A Rocha National Organization, and is submitting this proposal on behalf of A Rocha Kenya (ARK). ARUSA is an independent 510(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2000 in the state of Maryland. Since then projects have been established in Nashville, TN, Fredericksburg, TX, Chicago, IL, Santa Margarita, CA, Bend, OR and Lynden, WA. Though each project is unique based on the needs and resources of its location and range from restoration of habitat (salmon, steelhead trout, Black-capped Vireo and Golden Cheeked Warbler) to environmental education to environmental arts, ARUSA follows the standards and priorities of all A Rocha National Organizations. Now headquartered in Fredericksburg, TX, ARUSA is led by an independent board of seven and a staff of seven.
Since it was formally established in 1999, A Rocha Kenya (ARK) has been working with the local communities and collaborative partners to achieve the long-term conservation of threatened habitats and species in the Malindi-Watamu area. Some significant historical markers for ARK are:
• ASSETS was initiated in 2001 with a two-year grant from the UNDP Global Environmental Facility along with funding from Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service (the government agencies responsible for managing the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek). With this program, qualifying students began to be supported through secondary school with funds generated from sustainable tourism activities in the area.
• The Mwamba Field Study Center in Watamu was opened in 2002, which has hosted hundreds of tourists, interns, students from local and international universities and short-term research expeditions since then. One example is the annual entomology research expeditions led by Professor John Banks of the University of Washington, Tacoma.
• In 2006, parents benefitting from the ASSETS fund registered a Community Based Organization called Muvera Wa ASSETS (“gratitude to ASSETS” in Swahili) through which they participate in conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek.
• An office was opened in Karen, Nairobi in 2012 to facilitate networking and collaboration with other conservation organizations, most of which have their headquarters in Nairobi.
- Year established:1983
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:Operating
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