Celebrity photographer, reality TV host and philanthropist, Nigel Barker, was in Sri Lanka hosted by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, and he personally endorsed the premier hotel chain’s signature CSR initiative, “Project Leopard” by donating the 55th steel cattle pen to the local farmers.
This worthy project was launched to support the livelihoods of local dairy farmers whilst preserving the endangered leopard species, so that the two could co-exist in harmony. Nigel Barker is as famous for his philanthropy as he is for his photography and other creative ventures.
Project Leopard is the single most effective means of addressing a pressing issue that shatters the micro economies of the poorest layer of the community in the Yala, Kirinda area. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts strives to expand on this simple and effective measure which protects young cattle, thus ensuring a continuous milk flow in the cows. The farmers depend on their cattle and milk production for a steady income and as a result of this initiative, the friction they may have with leopards in the neighborhood is greatly reduced.
Barker leverages on his prowess as a photographer and director to spread his humanitarian message to vast audiences. He has made films for The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society International, The Make A Wish Foundation, The Do Something Organization, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and The Edeyo Foundation. He has used his lens as mode of expression for numerous causes. Barker is a celebrity ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Do Something organization, campaign shooter for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and the only male Champion for the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative. He was awarded the ‘Film Heals’ Award for Humanitarianism at the 6th Annual Manhattan Film Festival for ‘Dreams Are Not Forgotten’. Nigel Barker is reputed for getting personally involved in most of the projects he supports.
“Sri Lanka is gaining ground as a unique destination for its rich bio diversity and resplendent flora and fauna. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is doing its utmost to help position Sri Lanka as an eco tourism hotspot and a top wildlife location in the world. The brand is entrenched in exploring how the right balance can be struck between preservation of the endemic species and wildlife tourism, so that there is no negative impact on the island’s wildlife.” Said Mr. Sunimal Senanayake- Sector Head for Sri Lanka and Maldives Resorts at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts. The brand is currently conducting extensive research on the big three in Sri Lanka, namely; leopards at Yala, elephants based around the annual gathering of Minneriya and the Blue Whales through a scientific identification technique.
The nature arm of the hotel chain, Cinnamon Nature Trails and its team of naturalists are spearheading Project Leopard. Visitors to Cinnamon Wild Yala can also participate in Project Leopard by visiting a dairy farm with the naturalist team based at the hotel and contributing towards more pens which are needed by farmers in the vicinity.
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ Project Leopard has made a huge contribution to eliminating friction between the community and the endangered leopard species and this project has appealed to the humanitarian in Nigel Barker, who personally endorsed the initiative during his trip to Sri Lanka.
The celebrity’s visit to Sri Lanka was made possible by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and has been a week filled with unique and memorable events.