Feature image: A Big Life Foundation Ranger stands in front of his home with his two children. Courtesy Jeremy Goss/ Big Life Foundation

Thin Green Line has reached many more Fallen Ranger families in the last 12 months. 

Emergency relief is a fundamental aspect of Thin Green Line’s mission. Nothing can compensate for the death of a loved one, but during such a difficult time the Fallen Ranger Fund provides an important financial lifeline when material support is often lacking.  

We’re very fortunate to have regular supporters enabling us to provide emergency assistance. We also rely on conservation partners around the world to coordinate the detailed information needed to ensure those funds reach families in remote locations. 

Nashipai, pictured here with her three sons at their school in Longido, Tanzania, started a local retail business.

According to Sean Willmore, TGLF’s founder and director, delivering that support directly and urgently is not straightforward.  

“Assisting each case involves people across the globe coordinating details to support each family,” said Sean.  

“The families of fallen rangers often live in remote areas with limited access to services in their own country, let alone avenues to international aid.” 

PAMS Foundation, Freeland and Elemotion Foundation, are just a few of the agencies Thin Green Line collaborates with, along with member associations of the International Ranger Federation, to reach families of Fallen Rangers with urgent financial support.  

With contacts in over 25 countries, Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) liaise directly with the colleagues of Fallen Rangers to facilitate help for the families. Part of the International Ranger Federation, GRAA have made it possible to reach more families in 2021 despite the impact of COVID-19. 

“Working with GRAA and other in-country organisations, we can navigate language and cultural aspects and deliver assistance without long delays,” Sean said.  

The Thin Green Line provided financial assistance to 68 families of Fallen Rangers in 2021. Working with our partner Thin Green Line UK we coordinated assistance for five more families. Forty families had received support in 2020. The increased support in 2021 reflects in part the assistance provided to families of rangers who died from COVID-19.  

With support from the Fallen Ranger fund, Stella Buzazi set up a tailoring and embroidery business in her village in Tanzania.

The reports form our partnets have provided insights into how effective the support can be.

Representatives of the PAMS Foundation in Tanzania deliver funds personally, consulting with families to identify the best use of support. A livelihood for the family might depend on a small land holding to grow enough for their needs with some extra to sell. Cattle, goats and sheep are a sound investment for many families. In some cases, PAMS team members have helped family members open a new bank account, purchase livestock or even expand their garden or crop with a little more land for long term income. 

“School and education costs are always a priority,” said Sean. “Typically Fallen Ranger families have two or three school-age children.”  

Education is often free for young children but families need to pay for children in senior secondary years, or if the child needs to leave home and board to attend secondary school. Some ladies have set up a market stall or a small shop, hairdressing or dressmaking services. 

The messages of thanks from families of fallen rangers to Thin Green Line convey a sense of hope.  

“We’re shining that light of hope when we deliver this assistance”, said Sean.  

“We can’t do that without a trusted network of dedicated people working in allied organisations around the world. Collaboration is critical to outcomes in conservation.” 

Special funding from Avaaz enabled TGLF to respond to the tragic impact of the pandemic in a number of ways including provision of personal protective equipment and salary supplements for rangers. Thanks to Avaaz TGLF was also able to support the families of 13 Fallen Rangers who died from COVID-19.   

Fallen Rangers are recognised on the annual Roll of Honour released ahead of World Ranger Day.  

If you would like to contribute to our Fallen Ranger fund, click the link below today.