Freqently Asked Questions

What is HEAL?
HEAL, which stands for Houtbosloop Environment Action Link, is a local environmental and registered 21-organisation.

What is HEAL dealing with?
HEAL was founded to protect the local nature and wildlife. HEAL employs rangers, who patrol on properties in the valleys, looking out for snares and other incidents concerning nature in the valleys.

Where is HEAL located?
We are active in the Houtbosloop, the Schoemankloef and the Stadtsriver valley near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa. HEAL does not have an official office, but the annual meetings of the members are usually held at Sudwala, where the weltwärts-volunteers also stay.

Who works for HEAL?
Currently HEAL employs five full-time rangers, working in the field. Most of the administrative work is done by the HEAL members voluntarily. Currently there is one member responsible for each valley – see contact for more information here. Additionally, HEAL gets some support through the German weltwärts-programme.

What is the weltwärts-programme?
Weltwärts, funded by the German government, sends out volunteers from Germany to different countries. Each year two volunteers stay at Sudwala and also work part-time for HEAL. Mostly, the volunteers are responsible for delivering the monthly reports.

What is the monthly HEAL report?
As poaching, especially snaring, is a big problem in the valleys, the HEAL rangers look for snares in particular. If they find any, they notify the property owner. Furthermore, we write monthly reports about where and how many snares were found and other remarkable sightings. You find a list of all reports here and they are also delivered through the mailing list, which everybody interested is invited to join.

How many snares have been removed by HEAL?
Sine HEAL was founded in 2011, more than 11,000 snares have been removed.

Why is poaching actually a problem?
Poaching, especially snaring, is a problem, because one cannot control which animal gets caught in a trap and it can therefore cause enormous damage to the local wildlife. Furthermore, trapped animals die a painful death.

What else does HEAL do?
HEAL tries to create awareness about nature in the valleys. We try to spread information concerning the local environment and keep people updated. Therefore we use different mediums and projects, like our information boards, or our meetings and forums.

Who supports HEAL?
HEAL was founded by local landowners and most of the members own a property in one of the three valleys. Furthermore, HEAL is supported by some companies, which are partly located here. See our supporters for more information. Most of the HEAL supporters do this by monthly payments. Furthermore HEAL sometimes receives donations, in the form of a new bicycle for the rangers or a computer.

Can I become a HEAL member?
Yes, of course! Just contact us.