The Marat Karpeka Lemur Foundation is fortunate to have a supporter who wanted to share her journey with our readers. We hope that this can brighten your day and inspire you.
I'm Katerina. I'm originally from Poland. I was a staff member of the Polish Embassy for 10 years and now have transitioned to work in the IT industry.
I would like to share my story with you about how I started supporting the Marat Karpeka Lemur foundation.
I have always loved animals and my childhood dream was to become a vet but destiny took me to another field of work and became a teacher by education. I own a rescue dog, Charlie – a Brittany spaniel and I had many animals in the past. I like spending time somewhere in the mountains, taking long walks with Charlie.
Volunteering is something that I am passionate about too. I was a volunteer teacher for children from broken families in Poland. I also was a volunteer at a dog shelter a few years ago and believe that it is better to give a furry friend a second chance in life by adopting from a shelter before buying from pet stores.
I feel best when I am close to nature and animals. I don't really like visiting zoos, because it seems that the animals suffer immensely there. In primary school I refused joining the field trips to the zoo, not to mention the circus! I do not wear leather by choice and I always check that the products I use has not been tested on animals. My ultimate dream is to visit Africa on a safari trip to see wild animals in their natural environment.
One day I saw a TV program on National Geographic about Madagascar and lemurs. And I thought: "Wow, they are so cute but very vulnerable". 90% of the species is endangered – if we do not unite and do something right now, they will disappear from the Earth in the near future. I believe as human beings we should take the necessary actions and prevent lemurs' extinction. This is our common responsibility.
What would you say to your child or a grandchild watching the Madagascar movie or showing the picture of extinct lemur in the book knowing that you could have done something in the past but you didn't?
I decided to join the conservation movement and started to donate in 2016. My friend introduced me to the Marat Karpeka Lemur foundation, a small fund that makes huge efforts in order to save lemur populations in Madagascar. The foundation also supports the local community by helping improve their livelihoods through infrastructure (wells, farming improvements) and educating the next generation via the yearly Lemur Festival that is aimed at children. I met Marina Surskova, one of the team members and she told me about their challenges. This made me realize that even a small contribution of every single person matters.