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Foundation News

Singapore IEF Symposium

Chris Rico

A truly exceptional gathering……

November 14–18, 2016, President Linda Reifschneider attended the IEF/IRF Symposium in Singapore.

Hosted with exceptional hospitality by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group, this was an excellent week of presentations from some of the best of the veterinarians, researchers, and conservationists working to assure a future for all elephant and rhino species.  Linda presented an update on AES’ efforts and was asked to focus on the educational aspect of our work.  Looking back at the past couple of years and all that you have helped us make happen, it became quite apparent that almost everything we do has an educational component to it: 

Helping veterinarians, mahouts, researchers, or educators attend a workshop or conference that will help grow their knowledge and confidence is, naturally, all about education. 

When we help Dr. Sarma conduct his elephant health clinics, in addition to attending to any immediate medical needs and supplying preventative medicine, Dr. Sarma is always teaching the elephant owners and mahouts how to better care for the medical needs of their animals as well as how to better identify when they need to call him for help. 

We initially helped Mamatha attend a teacher’s conference to advance her teaching skills.  She paid it forward via all the lessons she gives within her school curriculum, outside of school sessions, and with the mahouts at three of the Forest Department’s elephant camps. 

The mobile clinic AES helps ElefantAsia run in Laos to bring medical care to every captive elephant in that country also actively helps teach those mahouts and owners how to better care for their charges. 

And the learning goes both ways.  For every time we reach out to help, we also learn.  Whether reading grant requests through the final report of a funding effort, or traveling to participate in a workshop or conference or to visit those we fund in their backyards, our efforts are repaid by growing our knowledge and thus our ability to always put your financial support towards the best of efforts.  Thank you again for your support of our endeavors.