By: Jen Shepherd

Posted: July 15, 2020
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Staff Post

Supporting our local communities during COVID-19


The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been truly global in scope. SFS centers are located in some of the world’s most iconic ecosystems, and not coincidentally, the local communities are largely dependent on income from tourism. Many in our alumni and extended SFS family have been inquiring about how they can help support these communities, both with humanitarian and environmental aid. We asked our Center Directors to recommend charities which would be grateful to receive your financial support to help them serve their communities.

AUSTRALIA | Center for Rainforest Studies


BHUTAN | Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies

  • The Bhutan Foundation focuses on enabling the people of Bhutan to reach their full potential by developing local capacity and facilitating global support.


CAMBODIA | Center for Conservation and Development Studies


CHILE | Center for Climate Studies

  • Dar & Recibir (Give and Receive) is an initiative to channel and distribute contributions made by the community to people who are experiencing food shortages due to the impacts of COVID-19. Donations accepted via PayPal at


KENYA | Center for Wildlife and Water Studies

  • Amboseli Ecoystem Trust (AET)website under construction – is a long-time partner of SFS Kenya. AET works collaboratively to develop land use practices that improve the livelihoods and well-being of communities through the coexistence of people and wildlife. Donations accepted via PayPal donations sent to
  • A group of SFS Kenya alumni have created a GoFundMe to support the SFS Kenya staff and their families (who are currently furloughed). In their words, “The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise money for The School for Field Studies staff that made our time studying abroad in Kenya so incredible. It is time for us to repay them for all the help they gave us. Any funds raised will be sent directly to Kenya, where it will be dispersed among the staff and their families, to help ensure that they can make ends meet and that their kids can go to school.” Donations can be made at


PANAMA | Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies

  • Bocas Solidario was formed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the Bocas del Toro community, and is working to deliver food and funds directly to individuals impacted by the sudden loss in tourism revenue. To donate via PayPal, go to
  • Darklands Foundation Lifting Indigenous Population Out of Poverty Through Integrated Agriculture In The Rainforest. The Darklands Foundation has been delivering food and potable water to communities on the outer islands in the Bocas del Toro archipelago.


PERU | Center for Amazon Studies

  • Un Respira para Loreto is a group of young people (mostly biologists) who are raising funds to purchase medicine, food, and other necessities for people in and around Iquitos. The group was started by a doctor from the Regional Hospital and they work closely with medical staff to identify those in the greatest need, and to deliver medicine and food to patients in the hospital and isolating at home. They are raising funds via this GoFundMe campaign.
  • Rescatando Rescatados is distributing funds to three wildlife rescue centers in Iquitos, all of which depend on tourism revenue to pay for the care of rescued animals such as manatees, otters, tapirs, and others.


TANZANIA | Center for Wildlife Management Studies


TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS | Center for Marine Resource Studies

  • South Caicos Heritage Foundation is run through Sail Rock Development and is focused on supporting the local South Caicos communities.
  • TCSPCA has helped SFS support animals on South Caicos during the pandemic.
  • TCReef Fund is partnering with SFS to help slow the spread of stony coral tissue loss disease.

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