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Code Red Campaign —We Can Choose to Win


We are past the point of uncomfortable; our planet is in peril. 

In August, António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, announced that the IPCC (scientific climate change assessment)’s latest findings are “a code red for humanity.”

In the last 150 years, our planet has lost 83% of our wildlife and over 50% of our plant species. We are in crisis, and the way that we live is changing our planet in irreversible ways. 

Kenya has lost 70% of its wildlife in only the last 30 years, and if we don’t act now, our planet will experience an unprecedented extinction of species never seen in our lifetime. 

Through a One Health concept focused on education, Veterinarians International is developing a full-scope Veterinary Residency Program and works in partnership with local organizations in Kenya to improve and maximize conservation in all areas. 

Where there is life, there is a solution. History teaches us that when people put their minds together to solve difficult problems, they can succeed.

“If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”

António Guterres

The Meringoff Family Foundation believes in our ability, as an irrepressible species, to accomplish great strides in the restoration of our animals and the reparation of our environment. The foundation is Supporting Veterinarians International in our Code Red Challenge with a generous matching program. 

With a deeply rooted love of Africa, the good work that Veterinarians International is doing in Kenya caught the attention of Stephen Meringoff. 

Visiting Africa on five different occasions, Stephen’s fascination with the continent continues to grow and he waxes beautifully poetic about his trips to various regions. 

Waking at dawn, the landscapes at sunrise are as cinematically stunning as the scenes in Out of Africa. The safari adventures begin in a 4-wheel drive into the wilderness. Binoculars in hand, the spectacle of birds dotting exotic trees and flocks soaring in blue skies is a sight Stephen cannot get enough of. Witnessing large birds devouring frogs and buffalos being pursued by a pride of lions, the experience is like a hands-on version of David Attenborough’s documentaries. 

Hot air balloon rides at sunset give an overview of geography like none other on Earth.

Encounters with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat on a trek in Rwanda was an unforgettable experience. With strictly limited daily access for these expeditions, Stephen was awestruck and honored to sit on bamboo-covered slopes while intimately observing these magnificent primate families go about their forest business.

The Meringoff Family Foundation has a focus on investing in the education of kids. While in Africa, Stephen learned that in Botswana the fear of fires in the dry season is so intense that fires are banned at night. No fires means no studying. Knowing it was only a drop in the bucket, his provision of solar lanterns in the community meant local students would be able to study and be prepared for class each morning. 

The soul of the country—its people—and the deep historical roots of mankind’s beginning on the continent of Africa has captured Stephen’s heart. Seeing intelligent but superstitious people drive the dark poaching trade for things like rhino horns and elephant ivory has been a source of consternation. The sharply declining population of black rhinos and elephants is alarming and the overall economic situation in Africa has led to this type of trafficking. 

As his concerns intensified with each trip to Africa, Stephen became involved with a number of organizations working to improve the African condition. When he met Dr. Scarlett Magda of Veterinarians International, he was “extraordinarily impressed” with programs she’d spearheaded that had met with great success. He began making donations to her campaigns.

But as a full-time veterinarian, it was clear there was a limit to what she could do within the scope of her resources and time constraints.  

Enter Erin Ivory. A world-renowned behaviorist, Erin’s expertise in the care, welfare, and conservation of elephants and her degree in Anthrozoology was a natural fit for Veterinarian International’s mission. Stephen is aware of the importance of her work and the positive impact she would have within the framework of Scarlett’s efforts. He was integral in facilitating Erin’s move to VI.

Unaware of how deadly rabies still is in Africa, when Stephen learned of VI’s rabies eradication project and the critical impact on the lives of children, he funded their highly effective and successful Laikipia Rabies Vaccine Campaign.

“Scarlett is a magical person. Working with her is easy to do and her projects are a natural fit for the foundation.”

Stephen Meringoff

Stephen has decided to take his philanthropic work with Veterinarians International to a new level by involving his foundation. The Meringoff Family Foundation is offering a magnanimous matching program.

Code Red Challenge
Double Your Impact

For every dollar you donate towards the Veterinarians International Code Red Challenge between November 1st – December 31st the Meringoff Family Foundation will give a matching amount. Our goal is $150,000 which will translate to $300,000 with this matching challenge.

Here are just a few of the endangered species you can help through this campaign …

  • The Eastern Black Rhino (approximately 1,000 left in Kenya)
  • The Grevy Zebra (2,649 left)
  • The African Wild Dog (1,400 left)
  • The Reticulated Giraffe (11,048 left)
  • The African Lion (23,000 left)
  • The African Elephant (415,000 left)

 

The beauty and health of planet Earth is something each of us can participate in protecting—every good deed counts. We are taking a stance and we urge you to join us. Help us save our animals and heal our environment.

Your donation will go twice as far right now!

We can choose to win.