BirdLife South Africa is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation and the only dedicated bird conservation organisation in the country. Its priorities are to save species, conserve sites and habitats, encourage ecological sustainability, and enable positive change through people. Jacques van Wyk, CEO of Ricoh SA, which has a Bedfordview branch, is set on summiting Mount Kilimanjaro on 30 July this year to raise R150,000 for the organisation.
Van Wyk, who is a 15-year birding veteran and seizing this opportunity of his bucket-list goal to do something good for conservation, has already raised R62,000 from Ricoh’s business partners. ‘I’m an ardent birder and I’ve travelled to many parts of Africa in pursuit of my passion,’ he said. ‘I’ve witnessed the erosion of birds’ natural habitat in almost every area. I’ve also been a long-time supporter of BirdLife South Africa and its CEO, Mark Anderson, because of the excellent work they do for birds and sustainability throughout Southern Africa.’
‘South Africa has 845 species of bird and conserving them requires considerable funding,’ said Mark Anderson, CEO of BirdLife South Africa. ‘We welcome the passion of contributors such as Jacques van Wyk who help us in our mission to conserve birds, their habitats, and biodiversity.’
Van Wyk is self-funding his expedition and will donate all proceeds, unencumbered, to BirdLife South Africa. ‘The exceptional generosity of many of our business partners in taking an active role to help exceptional organisations like BirdLife South Africa has encouraged me to open this challenge to the general public. Sustainability is a global issue that touches us all and it’s something we can all take an active role in remedying,’ he said.
‘Those goals in many ways intersect Ricoh’s values,’ said van Wyk. ‘Love your country. Love your neighbour. Love your work. They’re the vision of our founder and we call them The Spirit of Three Loves. They resonate with the positive change I want to help create with this donation to BirdLife South Africa.’
Donations can be made at www.imaginechange.co.za/summit/ where you can also see a video with a personal message from Van Wyk and track his summit challenge.