Named as a ‘CNN Hero 2015’, Monique Pool founded the Green Heritage Fund Suriname in 2005 after agreeing to foster and rehabilitate an orphaned sloth from the local animal shelter. Monique soon fell in love with these unique animals and discovered Suriname’s need for rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of all Xenarthra species due to deforestation and expansion of the capital city, Paramaribo.
Outside her full-time job as a translator, Suriname’s resident ‘sloth lady’ worked for many years as an environmental activist caring for and relocating Xenarthra, researching dolphins, and providing community education about conservation, sustainable development and climate change to ensure a green, clean and healthy future for Suriname.
In 2016 she became the first full-time Director of the foundation. Monique also acts as Suriname’s Country Coordinator for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation, which provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.
Desire Simons is an enthusiastic, highly motivated young man helping in the delivery of the EU funded Marine Spatial Planning project for Suriname and Guyana in cooperation with lead partner WWF Guianas and governmental partner the Nature Conservation Division. For this purpose, Desire interacts with many different persons and organizations, works in a team and is actively involved in research, thus promoting ocean awareness and literacy in Suriname.
Cheyenne Samson has a passion for the environment and educating others about it. With a background in environmental science and a BSc. thesis on sea turtles in Suriname, she has the right credentials to go out and teach children and adults alike about the environmental issues facing us. She manages successfully the Mosquito project that helps to fight diseases such as zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and malaria. Cheyenne is quick on her feet and supports the work of the foundation wherever necessary.
Genevieve, known to most as Pebbles, is a highly motivated conservation-minded young woman, who as a teenager already petitioned people in the street to vote against whaling. She pursued a study in agricultural production, forestry stream, and is now conducting for us our mangrove education program as part of the See Marine Interactions project.
Shanifa is a real go-getter and has done two internships at GHFS. She is responsible to make the office run as smoothly as possible and support others in their project work. In addition, she is a field assistant in the See Marine Interactions project.
Ed Pool, an ICT database programmer, promised his sister to help her out at the center for three months, but after two years he is still there to keep the facility manned 24/7. We are immensely grateful for his dedication and work at keeping the facility running.
Yvonne Tahar has been providing care and love for animals at GHFS since 2005. In addition to assisting in managing the animal center facility, Yvonne assists in coordinating volunteers on-site and addressing the needs of the animals at GHFS for rehabilitation. Yvonne applies the principles of balance and harmony to transform the energy of traumatized animals during the rehabilitation process by providing care and love.
Patrick Cheung Tam He has been helping with animal care and building jungle gyms for sloths and anteaters since we were located in the city. As we moved, he helped with building some of the first temporary facilities. Patrick remains committed to the animals and comes regularly to help with the maintenance of the facilities and taking care of the animals.
Green Heritage Fund Suriname is proud to have a broad volunteer base. We are comprised of Surinamese and international volunteers from all walks of life, students, and long-term visitors from abroad. Volunteers complete a variety of tasks including animal rescues and care, administrative duties, communications, fundraising, event planning, and much more. We also welcome volunteers who share their skills from a distance. Without these volunteers, our small paid staff would not be able to meet our goals.