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Animals & Wildlife · 01:20

HELPING THE BOLIVIAN AMAZON - Your support counts!

  • By Gabriela Maria Vaca Romero · Global and Europe Head Office (GHO/EHO), Europe


HELPING THE BOLIVIAN AMAZON - Your support counts!

Main aim of the charity

The main objective of my charitable cause is to help to save the Bolivian’s Amazon through small generous acts that contribute to the recovery and preservation of the healthy conditions of the Chiquitano Forest in Bolivia.

How the employee got involved and why

During August and September 2019, almost 1.6 million hectares of the Chiquitano Tropical Forest in Bolivia were devastated by forest fires. The Chiquitania region is a large area in South America in eastern Bolivia, which covers 5 reserves and national parks and it is considered as part of the Amazon ecosystem. The forest is home of a rich wildlife such as jaguars, pumas, tapirs, giant armadillos, yacare caimans, giant otters, rhea birds, toucans, anacondas and a lot of more beautiful animals. Some species in the Chiquitania are found nowhere else on Earth. Disturbing pictures and videos from the area show an extensive burned flora as well as animals burned to death due to the fires. The migration of animals to the near towns and cities was massive, birds never seen before in populated areas sought refuge in the cities while in the country side the families opened their stables for the wild animals seeking refuge. Volunteer forest firefighters arrived from all parts of Bolivia to help control the fires and bravely risked their lives to protect more parks and reserves in danger to be consumed by the fires. More than 400 volunteer firefighters were working in different places of the region where the fire outbreaks were located. However the “monster” was too big and the resources were not enough to face it. The volunteer firefighter’s help was immensely needed in the fields but due to their volunteer status, these groups don’t have the economic resources to buy new equipment and supplies. The volunteers were lacking equipment to work effectively against the fire outbreaks. As a person coming from the affected region in Bolivia I couldn’t be indifferent to the pain of my country, for this reason I decided to help in some way and put in place my CAN DO spirit. Therefore I came out with the idea to organize a fundraising campaign among the DHL colleagues of the European Headquarters in Brussels to help to stop the disaster by providing equipment and supplies to the local Volunteer Firefighters in the Bolivian’s amazon. I knew that together as a powerful Network of people we might be able to help Bolivia during this disaster.

What work does the employee do for charity?

As organizer of the fundraising, I am responsible for contacting the donation’s beneficiary groups, checking the kind of donations that we will give and controlling that this help arrives to good hands. I am also responsible of the engagement of more colleagues in our project in order to increase their awareness about the situation in the Bolivian Amazon and encouraging them to become donors or volunteers in our fundraising activities. Mainly my job is to connect good people in DHL Express Europe with good people in Bolivia and together we help to save the Bolivian Amazon.

What impact would winning have on the charity?

The fires in the Amazon rainforest are causing tremendous damage to our planet. To the date the fires in the Chiquitano Forest are almost controlled but still there are pending some fire outbrakes that need to be extinguished in the southeast of the forest. Experts say that it will take at least two centuries to repair the ecological damage caused by the fires, around 500 animal species were affected due to the flames. Once the fire is gone, it is necessary to restore the flora and the fauna of the region. It will be needed to start with the reforestation of the Chiquitano Forest and the recovery of the animal’s habitat. Winning the DHL’s got Heart will give us the opportunity to continue helping the Bolivian’s Amazon providing us the economic resources to help the local groups to plant trees, built water troughs and feeders for wild animals and to create programs of reintegration of the rescued animals in order to make them return to their habitat. Winning the DHL’s got Heart will give us the chance to transform a small fundraising initiative into a committed project of forest nursery and wild animal’s reintegration.

What impact would winning have on the employee?

When I was a kid I was teach that we were living very close to a beautiful, huge and full of life forest “the lungs of this planet” and thanks to this forest we were living under the “purest sky in the Americas” having many beautiful plants and animals around us. I growth up loving the nature and been environmental responsible, I was teach to take care of our planet because we only have one. I really want that the kids from my country (and off course from other countries) can enjoy the flora and the fauna that I got to know when I was a child; to be able to see some toucans on the park’s trees or during excursions to the near forest to spot tapirs, armadillos and even jaguars if they are lucky. Winning the DHL got a Heart will help me to keep healthy this beautiful place near home. With that… I would have done my part!

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