The DREAM that is NOSTER NOSTRI : 1. our hearts beat as one; 2. that old dream of ours.

Our dream photographs suffering wildlife in underprivileged countries, most endangered, and the circle of human hearts that, with little more than their outstretched arms and willing hands, embrace the suffering with love and comfort.

--The Dream Becoming

We propose to travel three continents, spending three months each at five wildlife rehabilitation facilities. We would live as the indigenous people live, eat as they eat, learn much and even teach – all to be documented in photos. We are educated in landscape architecture with an emphasis from the University of Oregon in sustainability and diversity. While we are photographing the lives of these people with these animals, we can in turn, help them to understand the importance of their role in the overall global effort to boost endangered species populations and forward the movement of sustainability and diversity around the world.

To win this competition and document in photos: the heart of the world that is compassion for animals despite their underprivileged condition, the mending of the modern disconnects between our human condition and our Earth, the saving of beloved species from extinction, AND be reminded of the love that spans all cultures, all religions, all geographies – well, it’s asking a lot.

But daring to ask, is the only first step in realizing a dream.

--The People

These ordinary people doing extraordinary healing for wildlife are gifted with wisdom and unconditional love in return for their selfless compassion. They attain an understanding of suffering and what takes to end it. They experience the connection to our one heart, theirs with yours and mine, with animals, plants, even resources. Each loving contribution by one person for one suffering animal is a seed that will become a garden of compassion and love that grows conservation, sustainability, and diversity. These people are planting more of those seeds every day.

--The Wildlife Rehabilitation Sites

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, Bolivia – Founded by one man in 1992 to educate poor/orphaned children in a trade while jointly rescuing the many native animal species endangered by the black market trade of animals there. This rehabilitation is not funded by the local government and desperately needs world exposure that only photographs can bring. Their rescuees include spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, pumas, ocelots, the list is long.

Phuket Elephant Rehabilitation Center, Thailand – This center rescues abused elephants and gibbon monkeys, mostly from Bangkok where they were forced to do tricks by any means. They have no electricity, no computers, but they are gaining on the war that is the demise of the elephants on the Asian continent.

Sepilok Rehabilitation Center, Borneo – This rehabilitation effort rescues orphaned orangutans whose forests have been burnt to the ground for the growing palm oil industry and are victims of illegal pet trade. They emphasize education as the solution to conserving these animals and are very often visited as well by other animals in need including sun bears, gibbon monkeys, Sumatran rhinos, and elephants.

Lola ya Bonobo, Democratic Republic of Congo - This sanctuary for the endangered Bonobos (also known as Pygmy Chimps) boasts “conservation through education” with an outreach program in 39 schools. The bonobos are treated for physical and psychological traumas, educated on what it is to live as a wild Bonobo, and then reintroduced to natural living within the sanctuary. This sanctuary is run entirely by volunteers under the premise of “make love, not war”. Bonobos are the only primates run by their females and are known for their peaceable living.

Limbe Wildlife Center, Cameroon - This is a place of refuge for many critically endangered species including ellerosus monkeys, drill monkeys, western lowland gorillas, cross river gorillas, birds and reptiles. These animals are mostly victims of illegal trade in the bushmeat and pet industries. In 2008 alone, this center rescued 14 primates and 70 non primates. In a two week period in 2007, 5 gorillas and 1220 African grey parrots arrived. This facility is a large employer of local people with emphasis on education. 90% of their visitors are local children who have so little money they could not get to nearby national parks to learn about these animals.

--The Dreamers

We have lived on and off on the island of Nevis and visited similarly underprivileged countries. We stumble about, halting for goats or pigs in the road, from our only piece of red tin on four wheels. We drink water from a cistern and hang our clothes on a line to dry. And every Friday night, we attend the village roadside barbecue. In the glove box where we once stored warranty information and loose change for coffee, we have wire cutters to save goats tangled in wire fences and a small blanket to transport abandoned infant lambs to nursing mothers. In our years of giving voice to those with none, we have rehabilitated donkeys, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, pigs, cows, even a vervet monkey. We bottle fed of a head injury monkey dropped when his mother was shot, even as the sound of rifles killing a next monkey went off around us. We have seen dogs burned alive in plastic, cut from trees after they have been hung, and tied in fields so weakened by hunger they cannot stand. But we have also seen a Chow Chow, considered by insurance companies to be a threatening species, share food and water with an infant monkey. We have seen an abused dog lay on an injured goat to keep her warm, a starving dog search for food with a lonely sheep, and a child embrace both. We have seen a man so poor as to walk without shoes share his plate with a rescuee dog he calls ‘friend’.

In return for our documenting these people and their efforts in photographs, the only universal dialogue that can bring change and hope for the human and animal species and their habitats, we can offer them our knowledge, our loving hands, our friendship and neighboring.

Noster nostri is not only our dream but that of such believers as:

Mahatma Ghandi – “To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. The more helpless the creature, the more that it is entitled to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”

His Holiness The Dalai Lama – “Many of the earth’s habitats, animals, plants, insects and even micro-organisms that we know to be rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability and the responsibility to act; we must do so before it is too late.”

Saint Francis of Assisi – “If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

Jane Goodall – “If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution - and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity."

Martin Luther King, Jr – “(I have a dream) One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.

--And You
This is our first step in the realization of this shared dream. This photographic opportunity will bring attention to the rehabilitation of wildlife by people considered poor by American standards but are rich in spiritual essence as they seek to end suffering and further the path that is conservation, sustainability, and diversity amongst all living things for the future of our planet.

You may view our photos at www.nosternostri.net

Thank you for this opportunity to realize a dream that spans many lives.

Rank: 144



great idea, there are so many suffering animals out there. it would be good to let people know. i voted for ya, check out mine and leave a comment or vote too if you like it, good luck!


Good luck. I voted for your dream. I believe in Pay it Forward, the Golden Rule, and affirming the worth of people and their dreams. I am a pescetarian and a supporter of all life, including animals. May you find success with this dream.


Good luck - I know how much this means to you and what you have done for the suffering animals on Nevis.


Great idea. Voted. Feel free to return the favor. My project is on Zimbabwe.


Good luck from Nevis Jim


These loving comments and votes alone have brought me to tears. Win or no, with all the people that care - we win.


Extraordinary dream!! Best of luck!!
You have my PIC. Please stop by and check out my idea... leave a comment and a PIC if you'd like.

I'm a photographer trying to change the world... starting with my community!

Take care!


Good luck! I clicked on the thing, but how do I know it registered my vote??


Hope your dreams really become a reality and an example for all of us to live by.
Good luck Jeff and Mags


very ambitious! I favor any idea that gives a different viewpoint about diverse parts of the globe! Mine is about Afghanistan. Please vote for ideas that support global awareness.


I wish you both all the best and hope your dream comes true. Victor Hugo said"To think, to know, to dream. That is everything". Glad to help in a little way.....Maureen


Behind you 100%!


This is such a touching idea! I love it. I pic'ed you. Please pic mine! I'm doing sustainable technology in the developing world.


I'm so proud of you guys and very excited for you! As you know, animals & their well-being hold a very special & big place in my heart. I sent this site to some family & friends, so hopefully you'll get a bunch more votes. What an amazing thing you are doing. You are truly heroes to me! I love you!


Good luck!!!


Good Luck


Alrighty Mags - I voted - good luck!


Alrighty Mags - I voted - good luck!


I like your idea, check out mine and vote for me if you like it. Its about poverty and society in 3rd world countries and how they are controlled, devastated by their governments and western industrialized nations.


Good luck and I hope your dream come true!


Please check out my idea: http://www.nameyourdreamassignment.com/the-ideas/richs85/making-peace-with-the-world-peace-corps-at-50/


Wonderful! thanks for sharing your Idea! Good luck!


Fantastic idea! Hope your dreams comes true, you deserve it!


I would miss you but then again I would get a signed copy of the book you write. Right?