Visit to Stichting Leeuw
Hello all! Times are fast paced as always here at LeoVegas – I can’t believe it’s almost November! The countdown to Christmas has definitely begun – even though the temperature here in Malta is still at a comfortable 25 degrees.
So… what’s been going on? Well, last week was an interesting one for Alexander. You may remember him as one of the Trainees who started this blog off – but now he has started a new role as a Business Analyst with our Business Intelligence team. He recently went to the Netherlands to represent LeoVegas at a day for donors for a foundation called “Stichting Leeuw“. As you might remember, we launched a CSR program, the Leo Initiative, earlier this year to commemorate our five year anniversary. More about what it entails further down in this post, but for those of you who remember, the program did not involve this partner. So why was Alex there representing Leo?
The reason is that Stichting Leeuw are currently taking care of our beloved lions, Bruno and Omar. It is thanks to this foundation and its rehabilitation centre that the two lions can make their way back home to Africa where they belong. After being rescued from their previous private owners in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Omar and Bruno arrived in Stichting Leeuw in 2015 in a miserable state. The remarkable job that the foundation has done has enabled Bruno and Omar to go from struggling to remain alive, to becoming two healthy, majestic young lions. They were meant to be relocated to South Africa, and Emoya, earlier this year, but the timeline has been pushed till December of 2017.
Donor Day with Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary
The donor day is an annual event for the foundation, where private donors are invited to the centre. Keynote speeches are held about the past year, upcoming events are announced, and collaborators are invited to talk about their work. This year, representatives from Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, the future home of Bruno and Omar, participated to present their vision for the future and how their organisation will grow. We at LeoVegas were invited to talk about the Leo Initiative and our industry first initiative.
Two presentations were held to which the crowd responded very positively. When telling supporters of these animals that we too support them, and will continue to support them, that we are taking our corporate responsibility and making a hands on difference, mainly for the lions but mostly for small scale powerhouses like Emoya, it sends a powerful message. By supporting this kind of work, we support the conservation and rescue efforts for animals everywhere – and that is a powerful message.
Representatives from Stichting Leeuw showed us and Emoya around the facility to see their everyday work. The centre was founded in 2012 and is privately run by a family who lives in the facility. Together with over 100 volunteers, they run this massive operation dedicated to the rescue, relocation, and conservation of mistreated animals from all over Europe. They often deal with rescued circus animals and privately kept wild life; believe it or not, these are still an issue, one that the foundation is working on solving. Having worked closely with Emoya for a long time, and having relocated multiple big cats, they are dedicated towards making a positive, hands-on difference. Just like LeoVegas.
At the bottom of this post you can find a documentary about Stichting Leeuw and Emoya, and the relocation of the two lions Masrya and Nero. It’s 20 minutes long, but it explains a lot of Stichting Leeuw and Emoya’s work and the motivation behind it – definitely worth a watch!
The Leo Initiative and the Lions
Visiting the lions was a tremendous experience, but it became clear that relocation is equally important. Unfortunately, the rescued lions cannot be introduced to the wild; because of the horrible way they’d been treated, they would never be able to defend themselves, hunt, and survive. Sanctuaries like Emoya provide the perfect solution for these animals, and also provide a solid platform for education and conservation efforts. This is why we are so passionate about working with Emoya, and supporting Bruno and Omar.
What is also important for us, and the whole mission of the Leo Initiative, is to make a hands-on difference. We are aware that it is impossible to single-handedly solve the problem, but we are determined to at least make a difference. That’s why we, through financial and organisational support, also provide Emoya with volunteers from our staff every year. Read about the first group’s experience here. The next group is set to leave for South Africa in early December this year, hopefully when Bruno and Omar also have found their way home. This is our way of giving back, and trying to make a difference.
Our collaboration with Emoya is also combined under the Leo Initiative together with the Wildlife Conservation Network, WCN. Our monetary donation was directed towards their newly launched Lion Recovery Fund which will help small scale projects all over the African continent achieve the ambitious goal of doubling the wild lion population by 2050. Similar to Emoya, Stichting Leeuw, and LeoVegas itself, WCN is a powerhouse fuelled by the passion and ambition of a few, great people. What all of our organisations and joint efforts show is that greatness doesn’t come from numbers but greatness comes from people.
Finally, many thanks to Stichting Leeuw for hosting us at Donor Day 2017, we will be more than happy to come back next year too!. And to all of you readers who are interested in knowing more about our CSR initiative, The Leo Initative, feel free to reach out via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As promised, the documentary of the relocation of Masrya and Nero in 2015. Worth a watch!