For more than 28 years, Brady has specialized in delivering transformational, long-standing impact on people’s lives in nearly 80 different countries. He has helped create sustainable conservation and community-based programs in Africa and across the world, by establishing partnerships with national and regional governments, health professionals, academic and private organizations and humanitarian influencers – connecting thousands of people to life-giving programs.
His experience, and the outcomes as a result of his work, created the opportunity to help launch the African Community & Conservation Foundation (ACCF), a US tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. As the CEO and a member of ACCF’s Board, Brady leads the philanthropic efforts for the community and conservation programs supported by the Grumeti Fund in Tanzania, in addition to other sustainable programs in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Milton Group are aligned with ACCF and continue to support them in their quest to raise awareness around conservation, anti-poaching and community upliftment. We caught up with Brady to discuss the effects of the global pandemic on ACCF’s work, the learnings they can take away from this unprecedented year and apply going forward – and what’s up next for ACCF.
What first inspired you to get involved with conservation?
For me, it was about the holistic approach we could create to help the people, wildlife and the environment of Africa. I’ve been to Africa numerous times over the past 15 years and have such a heart for the people and the beauty of the conservation there.
Tell us a bit about ACCF, and the driving purpose behind it.
ACCF is focused on helping human life, wildlife, and critical habitats thriving in and around the African wilderness areas we protect. We partner with the communities that live next to these protected areas, in order to achieve effective and sustainable results.
Three key areas of focus for our work include community outreach, conservation management, and anti-poaching. We are the peacekeepers on the frontlines of the human-wildlife conflict.
Who are ACCF’s partners, and how do they work together?
Our partners include the Grumeti Fund, Karingani Game Reserve Project, The Malilangwe Trust and the Rwanda Project – in Volcanoes National Park.
ACCF is the gateway platform for funding and awareness to these strategic partners and our Projects. We only work with distinguished non-profit funds and trusts carrying out impactful conservation and community projects in Africa.
Was there a particular point on your journey with ACCF where you could see change starting to happen, and you noticed the impact that the organisation was having?
Since the inception of ACCF in July 2018, we have seen some unbelievable traction throughout the world.
We have seen our donations and donor base grow, and have exceeded our expectations on our social media platforms; we’ve enlisted some help from some great ambassadors and influencers to help spread our message of hope for Africa, and have recently expanded into three new countries during the pandemic.
What is the most uplifting story, or outcome, that you have been a part of at ACCF?
There are so many beautiful stories it’s hard to choose just one of them. Having three daughters of my own, one of the stories that is near and dear to my heart are success of the women and girls’ empowerment programs we support, and the transformational impact it makes in their lives.
This video gives you an idea of some of the wonderful work taking place, that supports gender equality and education in Tanzania.
How does ACCF work with, and support, the local community?
The communities surrounding protected wildlife areas in Africa are key stakeholders in conservation. The work that we support aims to help communities to thrive both socially and economically while living in peace with the surrounding wildlife and wilderness areas.
Everything from education, scholarships, health and wellness, women and girls’ empowerment, mentoring, small business enterprise, entrepreneurial guiding/training, agriculture and more.
How has the pandemic affected efforts to support wildlife conservation, anti-poaching and community uplift?
Due to the pandemic, life in Africa has dramatically shifted. Along with the health concerns, the shutdown and restrictions on travel, tourism and hospitality have contributed to a major increase in unemployment.
When people from the rural communities who live alongside the protected wildlife reserves lose their job, it has a trickle-down effect on poaching activity, community welfare, and conservation progress.
What key learnings will you take away from this time, to apply to ACCF’s work going forward?
While no business or non-profit is immune to the effect of the pandemic, this experience has highlighted how important engagement and regular communication needs to be with our donors, partners, foreign governments and others through various touchpoints, such as our social media platforms and campaigns.
With the urgency of the need in Africa, ACCF is committed to securing a sustainable future for the plight of the people, wildlife and environment.
What’s next for ACCF?
We just launched our updated website that features new projects and programs, ways-to-give, ambassadors, partners and field updates.
With the gradual easing of travel restrictions, we are excited about our upcoming Safaris with a Purpose in Tanzania and Mozambique. We’re also pleased to be partnering together with TUSK on a U.S. ‘Lion Tusk Trail’ campaign this summer on our collective impact work together in Africa! If you would like to learn more about these initiatives, don’t hesitate to get in touch us with at [email protected].