Whitewater partnership effort will support river sustainability projects and worldwide digital archive
The Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) is thrilled with the success of the fundraising campaign conducted with the World River Centre, International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHoF) and the International Rafting Federation (IRF) to further the conservation work of Rafael “Rafa” Gallo, RAFA founder, IRF Honorary President, and IWHoF 2009 inductee who passed away from pancreatic cancer in March 2021.
“We exceeded our fundraising goal, thanks to the overwhelming support of people worldwide who gave generously to continue Rafa’s conservation legacy and advance river sustainability projects,” said RAFA co-director Shannon Farley. “The world lost Rafa far too soon, but his vision to protect rivers and the environment will live on thanks to these amazing organizations and his many supporters.”
The GoFundMe campaign, held from August 8 to October 15, 2021, raised $6,405 from 53 donors. It centered around the September 30 Paddle Sports Show in Lyon France, where Rafa Gallo was honored at the ceremony to welcome 2021 awardees to the International Whitewater Hall of Fame. Funds raised will support RAFA’s conservation initiatives (60%), World River Center/ IWHoF initiatives (20%), and IRF river sustainability projects (20%).
“We are thrilled for the generosity of Rafa’s colleagues, as well as supporters of IRF and the World River Centre, whose International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHoF) directors and honorees remember Rafa as a brother, friend, and ally,” notes Risa Shimoda, World River Centre President. “Support for the IWHoF will go toward the development of an international digital archive that is open to all for historical reference as well as the ability to re-watch races, analyze historical boat designs, and learn about the history of whitewater as a sport, culture, and industry.”
“The positive impact that Rafa had on so many people’s lives is embodied in the response to our joint fundraiser with the World River Centre and the Rivers and Forests Alliance,” comments Sean Clarke, IRF Head of Communications. “We thank each and every person who donated or shared our message. The impact of Rafa’s compassion and generosity will continue to be felt by many for a long time to come. Funds raised for the IRF’s sustainability projects through this campaign will assist river supporters at grassroots levels on local river clean up campaigns around the globe.”
The Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) is dedicated to preserve, protect, and regenerate Costa Rica’s Pacuare river basin, its forests, and biodiversity, working together with local communities. One of the projects that will be funded by this successful campaign is the creation of a water quality monitoring program to understand and monitor the state of the Pacuare River and its pressures and threats.
For more information about the Rivers and Forests Alliance, visit www.riversandforestsalliance.org and sign up to receive regular news updates on conservation work in the Pacuare River region of Costa Rica.