As a volunteer run organization we at Nikela appreciate and believe even the simplest things make a difference in our global quest to save the last rhino in Africa.
The black and white rhino are in serious trouble and at risk of extinction in the next ten plus years due to relentless organized poaching driven by a mythical need in Asia. With rhino being poached at a rate of about one every 18 hours, the poachers being trained and funded by syndicates of the illegal trades involving guns and drugs and the corruption at all levels of amongst the very people who should be protecting them, it is easy to feel totally helpless and hopeless.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead
We believe this, we must believe this. And it’s not with violence or retaliation. The angry outburst, the cry for blood, though totally understandable, they do not change hearts. And more than anything else, it’s by changing hearts that we change trends. Yes, this is may not be a fast or sensational process, as it may be one heart at a time.
But with the hearts of a few we can bring about change for the rhino and all wildlife.
This is why we highlight a few ordinary people who did some rather simple things on World Rhino Day to show how much they care.
How Ordinary People Made a Difference
A couple of days after World Rhino Day (on our Nikela Facebook fan page) we asked what people had done for or during the month to help save the rhino.
Here are some of the heartwarming comments (with some additional commentary):
Margot Stewart >>> I visited a game reserve and spent money on eco-tourism i.e. a game drive. Saw 7 rhino up close and then back at home worked a bit on a project for rhinos. :>)
You can read more about Margot in “Granny Turned Rhino Activist” a free ebook in our collection. Never give up Margot!
Hayley Short >>> I took part in the London Rhino Awareness Walk on Saturday and I am also donating prize money I won to 2 very worthy proactive causes.
As far away as London people like Hayley got involved and did something to spread awareness of the endangered rhino’s plight. Thank you Hayley!
Lise Bambi Standring >>> We took part in South Africa’s Rhino Run in Port Elizabeth. My granddaughter, 6 years old, completed the 6km leg and when interviewed afterwards stated in no uncertain terms that she did it for our rhino!
Not only did Lise get out and do something herself, she got her granddaughter involved too. Way to go Lise!
Rob Weaver >>> I walked because I detest Rhino Poaching and we all throughout the World need to raise awareness of the Rhino in crisis.. but well done Hayley for donating your prize money.. EISH ek se! or should it be LEKKER!
Rob is one of those folks who is very active in spreading awareness. Keep it up!
Linda Rocco >>> I read a story to my son about rhinos and explained to my son about these terrible people called poachers and what they do is heartless in every form. I’m not too sure how directly it helped, but my 8yr d boy is aware of this terrible act and you never know; I may have planted a seed for the rhinos.
Linda, you did plant a seed. Awesome sensitizing the next generation!
Lisa Wiesbauer >>> I drove my FB friends crazy with all of my “shares”. I’ve probably been blocked by some, but don’t care. I’ve also decided to sponsor more orphans.
Thanks Lisa, we need more folks like you who just put it out there!
Global Animal Awareness Day >>> Spread information on facebook, posted info about impending trial of infamous ‘Groenewald Gang on October 19, 2012 in South Africa, which we all should pay very close attention to. Felt the pain we all do. Felt inadequate to the task, and like it’s never enough, but remain unwilling to give up.
Thanks so much! You may want to learn more about Global Animal Awareness Day.
Wendy Warwick >>> I went to the Krugersdorp Game Reserve where 4 rhino had been poached in 2010 – the start of this horrific massacre of our rhino and I spent two minutes at each place we found them.
Wow Wendy! Thank you for showing such reverence and caring for the lost rhino!
Harry Owen >>> I was at Cintsa on the Wild Coast – beautiful, but most of my time was spent at my laptop working to put finishing details into ‘For Rhino in a Shrinking World’, a tremendous international anthology of poetry in support of efforts to save the rhino. If you’re interested, take a look at our blog for details.
Mara Louw >>> Me, Natalie Cilliers and Glenda Jane Pontes had a stall about rhino at the Malmesbury agri show. We got the little ones included by hanging a colour in competition for them
Great spreading awareness Mara!
Rozanne Visagie >>> I wrote some important e-mails to a few big companies to try to secure sponsorship for my planned events in aid of the Chipembere foundation who does great work on the ground in the Eastern Cape for rhino conservation. I also mailed a new dynamic event planning company to help me make a success of these events! Furthermore I worked on another new song that I wrote on the 15th of September and which might be recorded for a new film about rhino poaching. Trying my best to make a difference for these amazing animals!
You may want to check out Rozanne’s work. Thanks for using your talents for good.
Tom L Tochterman >>> I spent Saturday and Sunday representing Rhino Mercy at the Rocking for Rhino’s concert in Hoedspruit! There was some awesome talent there; had a great time and looking forward to next year!
Tom thanks for all the support you offer!
Gloria Sapp >>> Posted pics of all the great people marching in London for world rhino day, sent off more emails and of course wore my rhino bracelet a good FB friend made and sent to me all from Texas for the rhinos.
Thanks Gloria you do great work on Facebook!
Anne Bindoff >>> I am the chairlady of the Tugela Honorary Officers corps. Our function is to support and assist the park ranger in charge of our area. All this is purely voluntary work. Our function involves creating awareness within the community of the natural heritage that is their heritage, as well as their responsibilities towards maintaining the balance between development and the environment. This involves the rhino of course as well, particularly at this stage. We are responsible for terrestrial issue primarily bit also marine issues.
Volunteers rule! Thanks Anne!
Dawn Neptune >>> Shared TONS of info with friends, family & colleagues to increase awareness, promoted the sale of the 2013 IRKA rhino calendar shared rhino photos from my trip to Kenya in March with my Zoo’s marketing/social media dept and forwarded educational materials to a number of traditional Chinese medicine organizations, enlisting their help to spread the word… “Rhino horn is NOT medicine.”
Roxanne Hawkin >>> I changed my profile pic on Facebook to a rhinos rear end and held a little competition asking people to tell me what species of rhino I was. I bought “rhino tears” necklaces from Kisma Kreative in Grahamstown and those were the prizes for all the correct entries.
I have also badgered all my friends to buy “rhino tears” necklaces to support. I also set up a monthly direct debit sponsoring a project by Act For Wildlife protecting black rhinos at a reserve in Kenya.
Shared FB posts and info, talked to people about what was happening and along with my 2 year old daughter made a banner to protest poaching & did a virtual protest on Facebook together.
Now that’s getting involved on multiple levels, way to go Roxanne!
Then there’s Ciske Kruger and Wild at Heart (whose real name we shall not disclose 😉 ) who shared awesome images with us to use on our World Rhino Month campaign. Many, many thanks to you both.
Then of course there was the naked skydive for rhino Kirsten mentioned! We decided not to post a photo or elaborate of that one 😉
There are of course many others not mentioned here who gave their time, energy, funds and talents to further the cause of the rhino. Not the least of them being Jess, Warren and Alex who produced “The Rhino’s Song” a beautiful video. No blood, no gore, just awesome footage and a message with a real twist.
Okay gang! Let’s keep up the good work, even though World Rhino Day 2012 is over.