For our founder, Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, nothing happens overnight. In this case, her work and perseverance spanned nearly two decades, visiting Myanmar, speaking with elephant owners/caretakers (mahouts), government officials, military personnel, villagers and more. Finally, she was able to see her hard work pay off.
The arrival of Save Elephant Foundation (SEF) Myanmar marks the first international foundation to open in the country and work with the government and people. In fact, the foundation will be run locally in Myanmar and supervised by SEF Thailand. The goal of SEF Myanmar is not just to help elephants, but to provide education to and empower locals to improve the lives of those in the country. A priority will also be placed on improving the environment and the regulations in regards to animal welfare.
In 2014, we expect SEF Myanmar to begin its comprehensive program, which includes providing free veterinary service to elephants in logging and trekking camps, but also to people in need of medical attention. In addition, the foundation will focus heavily on the environment and providing education to locals in regards to how to better the world in which they live, all the while employing local people and working in tandem with authorities. It will also provide training for veterinarians at our projects in Thailand.