Stephanie Vergniault is the Founder and Executive Director of SOS Elephants of Chad and SOS Elephants of Congo. Stephanie is a French lawyer who specializes in elections and governance working for the UE and UN. She became passionate about her work overseas and travelled worldwide doing mission work in places like Nicaragua, Venezuela, RDC, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinéa, Gabon, Congo and Chad.
She first came to Chad to work with the government on electoral assistance, but during her travels, she began to see the dire situation of the nation's elephants which has seen 15,000 elephants killed by poachers, over the past 25 years. As a result, therefore, in 2009, Stephanie decided to take decisive action and created the Non-Governmental Organization, SOS Elephants of Chad. This NGO’s mission is dedicated to the preservation of
Founder, SOS Elephants
elephants and their habitats, not only Chad but also in neighboring countries, by employing methods in research, education, conservation and counter poaching disciplines. Then, in 2011, Stephanie created a second NGO, called SOS Elephants of Congo, to provide support for a Congolese team working with the seriously threatened herds of forest elephants in the Congo.
Stephanie now lives and works partly in Chad and partly in the Congo where she continues to work closely with local communities, teaching elephant conservation tactics. This has included educating local farmers on how best to protect their crops from elephants. She has also been working tirelessly in the field with anti-poaching task forces in an attempt to make it clear, to the worldwide community, including Africa itself, how desperate the situation is.
Two key projects Stephanie has already undertaken is building an elephant orphanage for the baby elephants who are orphaned after their mothers are poached for their ivory along with the opening of several local community schools entirely dedicated to elephant conservation. Stephanie believes it is crucial, particularly in Chad, to get local community support, essential to human versus elephant cohabitation, in order to save the elephants.
Stephanie’s long term goal, through her NGO organizations (SOS Elephants of Chad and Congo), is to protect and conserve the elephants of the whole central Africa sub region of CAR, RCA, CONGO, CHAD and CAMEROON, by working, closely and co-operatively, with local farmers, local communities and anti poaching task forces in the fervent hope that the species can be saved for future generations to come.