Save Elephant Foundation Expands to Myanmar
Becomes first international foundation in country to work with government and locals
CHIANG MAI, Thailand – 03 January 2014 – For Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, founder of Thailand’s Save Elephant Foundation, 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.
Save Elephant Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Asian elephants, other animals, the environment and the community, today announced its expansion into Myanmar. 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 by Myanmar and supervised by SEF Thailand. The goal of the new foundation 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.
“It took a lot of dedication,” says Chailert, “But, I always knew that with education, kindness and compassion, we would be able to help not only the elephants in Myanmar, but all living creatures. In more than 15 years visiting the country, and spending time in the jungle at elephant camps, meeting with officials and more, we were able to help people understand the importance of animal welfare, education and improving the environment.”
In 2014, Chailert expects 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 SEF’s Thailand projects, as well as with government and other private organizations. SEF Myanmar is headed by Mr. Win Win and Dr. Lay Win.