Association du Calao Asbl
Our research on wildlife conservation in Africa has given us the opportunity to meet and appreciate tribes living in symbiosis with their natural environment. Living with a great respect of the fauna and the flora on a daily basis. This ethnic group remains profoundly attached to its traditions and preserves its nomad or partly nomad way of life, despite the pressures of globalisation.
The aim of the Association is to help these people to deal with such pressures, be they social or political, as is often the case, which force them to settle down. Living in settled communities gives them access to schooling and medical aid, but it can also lead to the loss of their traditional values.
Tribes are confronted with globalisation on a daily basis, with the hungry appetite of large financial organizations, with dominant cultures and a political willingness for cultural uniformity, they have a commercial value as a touristic destination. The legitimate aspiration of these people to an improvement in living conditions and reaping the benefits of globalisation must be accompanied by the affirmation of their cultural and historic heritage, constituting an existential oscillation between the desire for development and the need to preserve their culture. What the future holds is not the same for all these peoples; survival for some and extinction for others.
The Calao (or Hornbill) Association was set up in 2004 to defend the right of identity assertion by participating in humanitarian projects. These people hold an identity of their own which leads them to resist standardisation hence our slogan, being open to others while keeping one's identity, and one's goals : helping these tribes' children to get access to schooling and offering them a medical support without altering their socio-cultural values.