He helped set up bee-keeping and fish-farming projects for people in the North Luangwa valley, where elephant numbers had shown a dramatic fall. He persuades local people they can earn money by keeping elephants alive.Mirroring the experience of Muhammad Yunus, who said over 95% of loans go to womenfolk:
Over 70% of loans are made to women and Mr Simwinga says they are the backbone of the programme. "We deliberately pushed our resources to the womenfolk in the community because we knew that working with the women was the strongest part of persuasion," he told Reuters news agency.As an inspiring story of resolve and progress, Mr. Simwinga describes:
He inherited the North Luangwa Wildlife Conservation and Community Development Programme (NLWCCDP), when its US founders Delia and Mark Owens were forced to leave in 1996.news link: BBC World Service
Despite fears it would collapse, Mr Simwinga, known as "Hammer" and named after UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold who died in a 1961 air crash in Zambia, instead managed to expand the project.
"If I had left as well then the work we had worked for so many years to build would have just collapsed," he said.