MPC was founded by Hanneke van Ormondt, Rikkert Reijnen and Els van Lavieren in 2005. The founders were working at AAP, Sanctuary for exotic animals at the time and decided to start this foundation after seeing many infant Barbary macaques being offered for shelter at AAP. According to the founders, not enough was done to stop this illegal trade.
Fortunately, AAP realised that something had to be done and sent Els van Lavieren to Morocco to first do her thesis for the Oxford Brookes University on the illegal trade in Barbary macaques, to find out the logistics and the specifics of the trade, and secondly for 8 months to do field work in the Middle Atlas mountains to find out the status of the last remaining wild population. Rikkert became the coordinator for the Barbary macaque campaign for AAP. The founders decided to leave MPC dormant, until the need was there to restart the foundation.
That was in 2009. Els van Lavieren had in the meantime been working with and or many organisations on Barbary macaque conservation: IUCN, AAP, WWF, SSN, Institut Scientifique in Rabat, Le Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forets, etc. MPC was re-established with a new board, with Els van Lavieren as the director and Rikkert Reijnen on the board and Hanneke van Ormondt as an advisor and right hand for the foundation.
Rikkert Reijnen – Chairman – Currently working as campaigner for IFAW Netherlands and in the past has worked for AAP, Sanctuary for exotic animals and has been involved in Barbary macaque conservation actions for years for AAP.
Boris Janssen – Secretary – Who has worked at AAP, Sanctuary for exotic animals for years in the human resource dept and as assistant director and worked for War Child (currently in the fundraising board) and currently has his own clothing distribution company in Amsterdam.
Hicham Zemmouri – Treasurer – Who currently works for a large company in the financial sector and is originally Moroccan.
Pauline Verheij – Trustee -Pauline is an environmental lawyer specialized in investigating and prosecuting wildlife crimes. She has a background in law enforcement and wildlife conservation and has her own consultancy EcoJust, based in the Netherlands.
Staci McLennan – Trustee – Staci Staci is EU Political Officer for IFAW’s Wildlife Programmes. Staci has over 13 years of experience working on animal welfare, wildlife and environmental policy. She has a Masters in Environment and Resource Management and conducted field research in Cambodia on the valuation of wildlife by local communities. Staci earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University.
Els van Lavieren – Director -Has a BSc in Wildlife Management and and MSc in Primate conservation. She worked at AAP, Sanctuary for exotic animals for 6 years as head of the animal care department, and has been working fully on Barbary macaque conservation in Morocco since 2004, on many different aspects: field research on both the illegal trade and the wild population, educational projects, training of customs officers, CITES implementation and uplisting Appendix, organisations of seminars, lobbying, publications, media etc.
Kristina Stazaker – Development and Fundraising Manager – MPC UK -Kristina Stazaker launched the UK branch of MPC Foundation. She has worked in the charity sector for about 10 years, in a wide variety of roles. Organisations that she has worked or volunteered for include Wild futures, AAP, IPPL-UK, PETA Foundation, the PDSA and RSPCA. Kristina has a BSc. in Evolutionary Anthropology specialising in Primate Behaviour and a MSc. Wildlife Biology and conservation. Her campaign interests mainly focus on the primate photo prop trade.
Katie Chabriere – Education Officer and Regional Coordinator for North Yorkshire – MPC (UK) -Katie started out her career as a languages teacher in the UK, Thailand and France, with a background in Early Years, Primary and Secondary. In Thailand she volunteered at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, compounding her passion for primates. Back in the UK, she retrained as a Primate Keeper at Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary, where she completed a diploma in animal care, leading to her current studies in primate welfare, rehabilitation and conservation. After gaining invaluable experience as Education Officer at Wild Futures, Katie moved back to her native Yorkshire where she now is Regional Coordinator and Education Officer for MPC.
Hanneke van Ormondt – Founder – Advisor and right hand of MPC – is a biologist who has worked at AAP, sanctuary for exotic animals with all primates, including the creation of the special care unit for infected chimpanzees. Hanneke has done field work with primates in Sumatra, worked for the Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall, and at CARE in South Africa with baboons. She is currently working for Wakker Dier Foundation that aims at putting a halt to the bio industry and fights for the welfare of farm animals.
We also have some very loyal volunteers working for us in Europe!