Scot and Keely Sellers
Scot and Keely Sellers are avid global travelers who have visited over 110 countries and particularly emphasize travel to remote and unusual places. Scot retired as a long time CEO of an S&P 500 company several years ago, which has allowed them to travel even more extensively together. Keely is an educator and Registered Nurse, which gives her a unique perspective on assisting those in need they have come across during their travels.
Scot and Keely read about Journeys by Design in 2012, and took their first trip with Will and his team to the Omo Valley in 2013. They were captivated by the uniqueness of the tribes in the valley, and the threats to their continued existence as the result of the damming of the Omo River. When Will Jones of Journeys by Design outlined the idea of Wild Philanthropy as a platform to assist these threatened communities, like the tribes of the Omo Valley, Scot and Keely were excited to get involved.
Their subsequent visits to the Hadza tribes of northwest Tanzania, and the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, have continued to underscore the importance of the work that WP is engaged in.
Mark Gabbertas worked for Saatchi and Saatchi for 8 years before the realisation dawned that there were more important things in life than this meretricious occupation he thought was to be his long-term career.
After an overambitious and perhaps ill-conceived attempt to work for Richard Leakey as an anti-poaching ranger, he retrained as a cabinet maker before establishing an internationally acclaimed furniture design studio. It is only now that there has emerged the freedom to revisit a long-term commitment to conservation and the natural world in general and after much research, the work of Wild Philanthropy stood out for its pioneering approach to engaging local communities with the conservation cause.
With just one visit to central Africa under the belt, there is a desire return there and to visit Wild Philanthropy projects in person. In the meantime, Mark is a trustee of a swan rescue and rehabilitation charity in the UK and devotes much time to the naturalising of his land in the UK including the reseeding of meadows and the establishment of butterfly and bee habitats.
Megan and Tim Kirley
We came to Wild Philanthropy via Journeys by Design. Will had approached us as clients about an opportunity to support conservation/tourism/community in specific African locations.
We were very intrigued because Will is so deeply invested in African conservation and we trust his expertise. We also believe strongly in his balanced model of charitable giving. By involving local communities in the process, there is a greater likelihood of success. By targeting specific areas badly effected by development and modernization, Will can identify very detailed ways to help each region.
This is not blanket philanthropy. This is a long term, thoughtful approach to finding a way for animals and people to live and thrive together. The creation of jobs in the communities can only create more well being and prosperity through the regions that Will is trying to protect. The economic growth of regions is as important to conservation as land protection. Will is working hard to find this balance.
Please note that Megan and Tim Kirley, Keeley and Scot Sellers, and Mark Gabbertas are all happy to be references for the Activist Programme, Wild Philanthropy, and the wider Africa House Group. Should you wish to learn more about the programme from them, please do get in touch and we will gladly make the necessary introductions.