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The Gallmann Memorial Foundation
  Dedicated to the Co-existence of People and Nature in Africa
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As a major land steward at the edge of the Great Rift Valley, the Gallmann Africa Conservancy/the Gallmann Memorial Foundation is dedicated to creative, sustainable conservation- People and wildlife flourishing together, through research, education and the arts.

The GMF/GAC is a non- for- profit charitable organization active in Ol ari Nyiro,Laikipia Nature Conservancy, West Laikipia, Northern Kenya.

It was created to by Kuki Gallmann to honour the memory of Paolo Gallmann and Emanuele Pirri- Gallmann -her husband and son- who both died tragically in Africa, and are buriedin Ol ari Nyiro.

The GMF/GAC will in perpetuity endorse its mission statement which promotes coexistence of people and nature in Africa through harmonizing the protection and the creative sustainable and ecological utilization of the natural resources.

The GMF aims to make of Ol ari Nyiro an example of this conservation principle and a monument to nature.

In addition to Environmental protection, Antipoaching, Biodiversity, Wildlife, Educational, Cultural and Artistic projects, the GMF/GAC is active in reconciliation, peace and sport gatherings, and poverty alleviation through jobs, and public health care, and has built and equipped a model local clinic and health centre, schools and laboratories, constructed/ donated roads, water reservoirs, offices, solar systems and posho mills for the neighbours, hey bales to pastoralists, and provides bursaries and scholarships to secondary school.

It is registered as a 501-c-3 organization in the USA and is also tax exempt in Switzerland.

Kuki chose as the Foundation's logo two African acacia trees - one larger than the other. Representing not only those that she planted on her husband and son's graves at Ol Ari Nyiro but also symbolic of survival and hope, they stand as an ever-present reminder that life in the spectacularly beautiful yet harsh environment of Africa is dependent upon humanity and nature co-existing harmoniously if either is to survive.

Formerly an operating cattle ranch, Ol ari Nyiro was transformed by Kuki Gallmann into a nature conservancy managed holistically after the death of her husband and son, and the land donated to the Gallmann Memorial Foundation, which is implemented there.

Ol ari Nyiro (“The Place of Springs”)e100.000 acres private wildlife sanctuary and nature Conservancy situated on the extreme Western edge of the Laikipia Plateau along Kenya scenic Great Rift valley. Spreading through hills and savannah, comprising the only remaining indigenous relic forest in the area, and cut in half by the stunning Mukutan Gorge (“The Meeting”) plunging from over 7000 ‘ to 3000 ‘, Ol ari Nyiro supports an extraordinary variety of recorded flora—some of it endemic and priorly un recorded-, over 400 species of birds, a large wildlife population, particularly of elephants, lions, black rhino, leopard, antelopes, baboons, and the largest known population of Cape Buffalo in private land in Africa with over 4000 recorded heads.

Water falls , natural springs including thermal hot springs and the Mukutan river are part of Ol ari Nyiro ecosystem, in addition to 62 man-made lakes, and a network of over 1000 km of roads. Its rich and thriving biodiversity is in contrast with the eroded and overgrazed surrounding areas where no conservation principles were applied over the years.

  • Archaeological sites have been discovered on Ol Ari Nyiro and are studies at this time.

  • A Black Rhino Sanctuary supporting the largest known undisturbed indigenous population of the endangered black rhino outside Kenya's national parks, the estate is a refuge for over 450 elephant, 4000 buffalo, zebra, cheetah, leopard-including melanistic leopard, lion, gazelles and antelopes.

  • With the only protected indigenous relic forest remaining in the area, its extraordinary biodiversity - comprises natural springs, sixty two man-made lakes, the Mukutan Gorge that plunges form 7000 to 3000 feet and a spectacular landscape ranging from 3000¹ to 7000¹- the conservancy supports over 450 species of birds, 85 of which are listed in the IUCN red list for vulnerable, and endangered species, over 800 insects many of which are rare, and 2350 species and subspecies of plants identified so far, some of which are unique to the conservancy.

  • Ol ari Nyiro is regarded as ‘botanically the most varied non-forested area in East Africa’¹ (Truman Young, 1989).

The Foundation's programs are primarily dedicated and its international outreach focused on wildlife and biodiversity protection, the environmental education of youth, community service, alleviation of poverty, public health and preservation of traditional culture and skills.

In 1980, when the killing of rhino and elephant became a threat to the entire population, Kuki founded the first private anti-poaching in Kenya.

The first project of the Foundation, in partnership with the Zoological Society of London, was a 5-year pilot study on the ecology and behaviour of the endangered and then little known indigenous black rhino living on Ol ari Nyiro.

This was followed by the study and establishment of elephant corridors in the region of Laikipia, where Ol Ari Nyiro is situated, in partnership with the WWF and KWS (Kenya Wildlife Services)

Pioneering ethno-botanical study on the traditional use of local plants by the Pokot tribe

ConservationThe GMF/GAC preserves the culture, environment and wildlife of Ol ari Nyiro through various initiatives including black rhino and elephant protection, antipoaching, reforestation, indigenous tree nurseries, and wildlife monitoring.

We provide researchers, volunteers, and youth with hands-on learning and unique research opportunities.

The Laikipia Wilderness Education Centre (LWEC) -built in local materials and wheel chair friendly- hosts local school children for environmental awareness programmes. Over 50.000 under-priviledged and disabled children have so far visited LWEC at no cost.

The Four Generations Project, recipient of a Ford Foundation and Nando Peretti Foundation grant, monitors and records significant rituals, songs and oral tradition of Pokot, Turkana and Samburu tribes who live in the neighbouring areas.

  • The GMF/GAC conducts cultural, environmental, and educational research initiatives.
  • The African Humanities Centre hosts visiting researchers and volunteers students from Africa and around the world, who are interested in conducting studies in African humanities, archaeology and biodiversity.

GMF/GAC has constructed and equipped a number of schools in the region, and provides hey bales for pastoralists in time of drought.

In the attempt to curb de-forestation and illegal forest charcoal, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, GMF has pioneered a sustainable eco-charcoal project, aimed to provide local communities with sustainalble source of fuel, with no emission.

In 2006 the GMF/GAC-with support from the Royal Nederlands Embassy, constructed and equipped a Maternity clinic, and Health Centre at Ol Moran,which serves the needs of over 100.000 local community members- where people are treated free of charge by volunteer doctors.

The GMF/GAC, in partnership with the Great Rift Valley Trust - which Kuki and her daughter Sveva, with Kenyan personalities founded - has produced the Earth Festival.

The Great Rift Valley Trust aims to creatively heal the divisions between cultures, and between people and nature by bringing together exceptional artists from all continents and cultures to humanity’s common cradle, the Great Rift Valley.

Here, the artists embark on a project which requires them to work collectively within their different talents towards a performance that transcends cultural barriers, whilst highlighting the imminent need for global action towards the environment.

With conflicts on the increase, the planet needs healing. The Arts are a powerful communication tool healing the rift between cultural divides.

With environmental catastrophes of increasing magnitude and frequency, the web of life which connects the earth is facing unprecedented threat.

We need global and practical action to reverse this trend.

The dawn of the millennium has brought with it a shift in the human consciousness, and an awareness of our global responsibility towards the future of our planet.

A return to the cradle of humanity in such troubled times symbolizes a pilgrimage to the place of our origins, to reunite with each other and reconnect with our planet.

Africa has recently attracted the world’s attention yet the image of Africa portrayed by the media is negative and limited. This bold and innovative project highlights her inspiring culture and vibrant nature and shows how much Africa has to offer, rather than always being caste as the desperate continent in need of charity.

The Great Rift Valley Trust and the Gallmann Memorial Foundation have over 25 years of experience in Africa- uniting nature and culture in projects which improve living standards in local communities whilst ensuring environmental sustainability and the protection of nature.

Click to visit EARTH FESTIVAL web site
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Your contributions help to:
  • Preserve biodiversity and wildlife
  • Empower communities
  • Revitalize research

The Gallmann Memorial Foundation (GMF) was founded by Kuki Gallmann in 1984 in memory of her late husband Paolo and son Emanuele who both died tragically in Kenya.
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