Friends of Bonobos

aka Lola ya Bonobo-US   |   Durham, NC   |  www.bonobos.org

Mission

Friends of Bonobos, dba Lola ya Bonobo - USA, is dedicated to the protection of bonobos (Pan paniscus) in the only country where they are found - the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We do this by raising global awareness of bonobos and by mobilizing support for the foundational work of Claudine Andre and Congolese non-profit Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (ABC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Ariel Rogers

Main address

PO BOX 2652

Durham, NC 27715-2652 USA

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EIN

20-0347301

NTEE code info

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

Forest Conservation (C36)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are our closest living relatives: along with chimpanzees, they share nearly 99% of their genetic material with humans and yet sadly, they are highly endangered. Endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo, bonobo populations have been decimated by decades of war, human encroachment, deforestation and the illegal bushmeat trade. Without someone to fight for them, they will someday disappear completely.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Bonobo protection

Integrated bonobo conservation program that includes:
- the rehabilitation of orphaned bonobos, rescued from the illegal bushmeat and wildlife trade, at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary near Kinshasa;.
- reintroduction of socially-stable groups of sanctuary-rehabilitated bonobos into the wild;
- Wildlife and habitat protection at Ekolo ya Bonobo, a reserve for bonobo reintroduction that is also home to a rich diversity of rare plant and wildlife species
- conservation education activities with a diversity of Congolese children and adults at the source and destination of the wildlife and bushmeat trade; and the facilitation of research on bonobo behavior and cognition, for a better understanding of the species .
- Implementation of participatory community development projects to engage local communities in the benefits of conservation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal at Friends of Bonobos is to save and protect bonobos from extinction. We support bonobo conservation in the DR Congo (the only place where bonobos are found) through bonobo rescue, long-term care, sanctuary, release back to the wild and long-term protection of their habitat, the Congo Rainforest.

We work directly with Congolese nonprofit organization Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (ABC, Friends of Bonobos in Congo). ABC has played a pioneering role in the rehabilitation and reintroduction of bonobos. ABC works with local Congolese officials and community members to rescue baby bonobos orphaned by the bushmeat trade and rehabilitate them at Lola ya Bonobo, the world's only bonobo sanctuary with the ultimate goal of releasing them into Ekolo ya Bonobo, a protected rainforest habitat. ABC is on the front line in the battle to protect bonobos in the only country they are found – The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our approach focuses not only on bonobo conservation but also education and community development. We focus on four main areas.

Rescue and Care
We support the rescue and care of orphaned bonobos at the world's only bonobo sanctuary, Lola ya Bonobo. Here, bonobos are nursed back to health and cared for as long as needed, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Release and Protect
We support the release of bonobos back into the wild at Ekolo ya Bonobo, the world's only bonobo release site. We support the comprehensive protection of released and wild bonobos as well as the long-term conservation of their rainforest home in the DR Congo.

Education and Awareness:
We raise awareness for bonobos and their plight in the US and internationally.​ We also support education and awareness programs in the DR Congo - the only country where bonobos are found in the wild - with a focus on areas where bonobos are most heavily trafficked.

Community Development:
Bonobos are primarily killed for bushmeat. The root cause of the bushmeat trade is extreme poverty.​ We support programs that empower communities living near bonobos to build a better future through conservation instead of the bushmeat trade.

Friends of Bonobos works directly with ABC/Lola ya Bonobo, who for 25 years has been bringing the plight of the bonobos to the forefront of the DR Congo and has become widely known throughout the DRC and internationally as a leading bonobo conservation organization. With a sanctuary and release site in prime bonobo habitat, Lola ya Bonobo is ideally equipped to practice on the ground conservation with directly observable impacts. Over the years, the sanctuary has worked to foster a relationship with the surrounding community as well and regularly partners with local Congolese who are instrumental in the fight to protect bonobos.

For 25 years, ABC has rescued hundreds of bonobos and cared for them at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary. In 2009 and then again in 2018, ABC achieved the world’s only bonobo releases/reintroductions back into the wild. Our release site, Ekolo ya Bonobo, was expanded in 2019 to 120,000 acres and was declared a protected community forest reserve, saving 120,000 acres of rainforest for the long haul. Now, research is underway to determine the carrying capacity of Ekolo to better inform future release efforts. At Ekolo, we now protect released and (countless) wild bonobos.

Worldwide, the bonobo is still largely unknown, and we at Friends of Bonobos and Lola ya Bonobo are working to change that. We have already done much to raise awareness about bonobos and their endangered status and continue to reach hundreds of thousands of people annually in our outreach and awareness programs.

In the US, we plan to make the bonobo as well known as the elephant or the giraffe. Meanwhile, we will continue to support the release of bonobos back into the wild - in protected and patrolled forest reserve areas. To accomplish this, and to protect more wild bonobos, we will save more rainforest (bonobo habitat) in the DR Congo. We will grow our local awareness programs in the DRC to reach more people, especially in the areas where bonobos are found. As these programs grow in scope and impact, more bonobo orphans are being identified and brought to Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary, so we also plan to grow the sanctuary’s capacities.

Financials

Friends of Bonobos
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Friends of Bonobos

Board of directors
as of 5/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dominique Morel

Claudine Andre

Rebecca Rose

Brian Hare

Ashley Stone

Mary Rose

Vanessa Woods

Michael Hyder

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability