Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is the UK branch of the Inti Wara Yassi Community and a charity registered in England and Wales (look us up on the Charities Commission website). Founded in 2008, FIWY supports CIWY's work by: providing administrative support to the organization, managing international fundraising (applying for grants, organizing events, creating on-line campaigns), raising international awareness of CIWY's work and establishing partnerships with other organizations.
There are many ways to get involved with FIWY: by donating time or funds, or simply by spreading the word about our work. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the get involved section of this website.
FIWY has been a great help to CIWY over the years. Some of their most notable achievements:
• Raised over £100,000 in donations for CIWY since 2008. These funds contributed towards the purchase of land, the construction of a clinic and quarantine area for Parque Jacj Cuisi, and construction materials for animal enclosures.
• Secured over £24,000 in grants for CIWY since December 2010.
• Provides information and support to hundreds of volunteers via the internet and email, thereby raising international awareness.
• The on-going management of the CIWY website.
• The creation and management of online fundraising campaigns via the charity website, Facebook, eBay and BT MyDonate.
I first visited CIWY as a volunteer in 2007, when I fell in love with the organisation, its ethos, the dedication of both staff and volunteers, and the animals who have found homes there. I have spent a lot of time in the sanctuaries since then and my passion for CIWY’s work hasn’t dimmed. In 2012 I made the decision to become a Trustee of Friends of Inti Wara Yassi, doing what I could whilst in the UK to support CIWY from afar, be that through administration, fundraising or organising and taking part in events. I continue to go out to Bolivia almost every year, and I cherish the time I am able to spend there.
It was an honour to become chair of FIWY’s board in 2018 and I hope to continue to watch CIWY thrive.
I am unusual amongst our team as I have not yet had the opportunity to personally visit the parks in Bolivia, but was so inspired by what I learned about CIWY’s fantastically valuable work and the enthusiasm of all those involved that I was motivated to help support FIWY, and was absolutely delighted to be appointed onto the Board of Trustees in 2015. With a background in animal behaviour, animal welfare science, education, and international development, many years of working within the international animal welfare NGO sector and, most importantly, a lifelong love of animals, I hoped I could do my part to contribute to this wonderful cause.
CIWY’s work tackles the incredibly challenging intertwined issues of animal welfare, wildlife trafficking and trade, conservation and community education, against a backdrop of a rapidly developing world and increasing pressures on the wildlife’s natural habitats. This may be a small charity with limited resources and tough challenges to contend with, but this is counteracted by the enthusiasm and dedication of all those who work so hard to protect the animals, not only for the present time, but for future generations too. I am honoured to be a part of FIWY, and excited for our future.
I have been involved with the Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi since 2003 when I first visited the park as a volunteer. Since then I have remained connected to CIWY in some way, whether it be returning as a volunteer, working within their administration structure or volunteering my time in the UK to help fundraise or put taking part in events.
In 2012 I made the decision to continue this support, by joining the devoted team at the Friends of Inti Wara Yassi, here in the UK. I have been on the board of trustees since that time, and am constantly inspired by the commitment of our supporters and their desire to continue their involvement with CIWY, irrelevant of their distance from Bolivia. It is a joy to hear of different people's stories and ways of innovatively supporting and raising the profile of the parks and I look forward to seeing how this continues to grow over the years to come.
I am passionate about CIWY's work, the good they create and the difference that they make in the world and it fills me with great pride and excitement to be associated with FIWY.
"I first visited the parks of CIWY back in 2002, when Quest Overseas - the volunteer organisation I work for - was looking for new projects to work with in South America. Since then I have been fortunate enough to visit them a few times every year and every visit is an inspiring, mind blowing and often bizarre experience. Whether it was hitching on the back of a lorry in search for a new park location, transporting an alligator or an ocelot on a public bus, or appearing on national television as Jane Goodall's translator, working with CIWY has always been memorable to say the least!
More importantly though, the Bolivians which have dedicated their entire lives to this incredible project are the main reason I am proud to be involved with CIWY. To see their dedication, drive and unwavering principles, and the difference this has made to the children the project supports, the tens of thousands of volunteers which have passed through the parks throughout the years, and of course the animals which would otherwise have not had a chance of survival or the quality of life which the project provides them, is both inspiring and humbling. I believe CIWY brings out the best in people, and to have a part in supporting such a community is something I am extremely proud of."
Helen Marchant | Accountant
"I first volunteered at Parque Machia in April to May 2003. I looked after Rico, one of the Ocelot's for a month and was so inspired by the organisation and its work that I felt compelled to stay involved. On my return to the UK I got in touch with other ex-volunteers and became involved in helping to organise fund raising events, and managing the funds for the organisation. My role grew and I am now treasurer for the charity. As a direct result of my involvement with IWY, I ended up moving job sector two years ago and now work for another international charity where I also manage their programme finances."
Jenny is a fundraising professional, an animal lover, and a travel enthusiast. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay before coming to Jacq Cuisi in 2012 to volunteer with the pumas. She holds degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Texas and studied Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University. She worked as a grant writer and Development Director for several non-profit organizations and international projects before joining the CIWY team in her current role.
"The CIWY wildlife sanctuaries offer a truly unique and remarkable experience, both for the rescued animals who live there and the volunteers who help care for them. In my travels around the world, I've never encountered anything quite like it. I'm thrilled to come back to CIWY after several years and support them in this new capacity."
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.