Sunderland AFC helps in war on African poachers

(from left) Andrew Dunn, county director of WCS Nigeria Program, SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson and Gentoo chief executive Peter Walls.
(from left) Andrew Dunn, county director of WCS Nigeria Program, SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson and Gentoo chief executive Peter Walls.
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SUNDERLAND Football Club is lighting up the war on poachers in Africa.

The club is backing a conservation project in Nigeria, in partnership with Wearside charity the Nuru Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Nuru Fund, set up by city housing firm Gentoo, offers small customised loans to help rural households in Africa replace traditional kerosene lights with solar lamps, which save money and allow children to study for longer, under better conditions.

Now SAFC and the Nuru Fund have teamed up with the WCS to send 25 solar lamps to rangers, who provide protection for Nigeria’s last viable elephant population in the Yankari game reserve.

“This generous donation means 50 families a year can benefit from the lamps, financially, physically and educationally,” said WCS’s Sunderland-born Nigeria Country Director Andrew Dunn.

“WCS has been supporting conservation and conservation-related research in Nigeria since 1996 and by working closely with SAFC and the Nuru Fund we hope to successfully help protect the last remaining elephants in Nigeria.”

SAFC’s commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, said: “The Wildlife Conservation Society do a magnificent job and we are proud to support their initiative in Nigeria.”

l SAFC CEO Margaret Byrne is to be honoured by her former university this summer.

The Ulster University Business School graduate, who is to be named a Doctor of Science for distinguished services to sport and business, said: “I am delighted and I feel very honoured. To receive such an accolade from the University of Ulster means a tremendous amount to both me and my family and I am very proud to accept it.”