The Founding of FOC

The wildlife, habitat and indigenous cultures of East Africa are an essential and irreplaceable part of our global heritage.

The Masai Mara…
the northernmost portion of the 25,000km² (15,525mi²) Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem that spans the border between Kenya and Tanzania, has never ceased to fascinate since the first African safari was escorted there in 1929.

While flying over the Masai Mara National Reserve, Friends of Conservation (FOC) founder and International Chairman Jorie Butler Kent noticed a distressing array of tracks weaving and crossing each other. That indelible impression brought into being Friends of the Masai Mara, established in 1982 by Jorie Butler Kent and Geoffrey Kent to raise funds specifically for projects designed to meet the immediate conservation needs of the Reserve and also address future concerns.

Over time, work expanded into Tanzania as well as local conservation initiatives in other parts of Africa. To reflect this, the organization changed its name in 1988 to Friends of Conservation (FOC). Now an international organization that assists projects on all seven continents, FOC is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., London, England and Nairobi, Kenya, and continues to be guided by the compassion, dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm of International Chairman Jorie Butler Kent.

In the United States, FOC is a non-profit tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3), and donations by U.S. donors are tax deductible. FOC President Reute Butler coordinates efforts that raise funds for FOC programs in Kenya, and assist grassroots projects on other continents that address climate change and support research to monitor fragile and remote environments.

In the United Kingdom, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales honored FOC in 1988 by accepting to become our Patron, and has generously continued his Patronage since that time. With his international experience and concern for the environment, The Prince of Wales brings invaluable knowledge and support to FOC. Efforts in the FOC headquarters office in London are coordinated by Operations Director Amanda Bleasby.

FOC is a registered NGO (non-governmental organization) in Kenya, able to respond quickly and efficiently to conservation priorities under the direction of FOC Africa Executive Director Asgar Pathan and Field Director & Project Coordinator Haji Ogle. FOC is recognized as one of the most effective grassroots-based wildlife conservation organizations in East Africa, a permanent and active community partner responding sensibly to the rising challenges of Africa's peoples and wildlife.

Courtesy of FOC Courtesy of FOC Courtesy of FOC Courtesy of FOC © Jorie Butler Kent