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Keeping our Rhinos from extinction… one piece of artwork at a time!

Do you ever stop and ask yourself if you have made a difference?

Thula Thula Game Reserve www.thulathula.com

Thula Thula Game Reserve www.thulathula.com

How I got involved…

When Carla from One in a Million asks you to accompany her on an expedition backed by both the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Earth Organisation – you gotta put aside the fear of being in over your head and dive in with a ‘hell yeah’ and an extra pair of sturdy boots!

What “Rhino Art, Let the Children’s Voices Be Heard” aim to achieve…

The concept is simple and the message imperative: “How do we assure the future of our rhinos?” The answer, is education. You can’t expect to learn without being guided in the right direction and shown the effects of the current ignorance opted by society. To some, their minds are set; pulling in ridiculous amounts of money for a single poach seems far more inviting than labouring for years to pull the same numbers.

It’s the youth that need the insight to know that it will never stop at a single animal, species or current trend. The survival rests in working closely with your local community in fostering conservation awareness…

Pic by www.travelwithlamb.com

Pic by www.travelwithlamb.com

My Two-Day Adventure in Zululand

With the only instruction being; “Be there! Its going to be great!” I packed half my wardrobe. I had to be ready to face whatever was coming at me. So I made sure I had enough yoga pants and PEP takkies to get me through- nature and I had only experienced a brief fling previously.

After the first wine-fuelled evening, we are up early and dressed for an expedition of epic proportions. I was prepared for anything; except what I was about to see. Sitting in the back seat of a Hilux driving through the surrounding communities, I absorbed Zululand in all it’s glory. I took a deep breathe as we made it to the top of a bumpy dirt-road, reaching our first school…

Our first school we visited. Pic taken by www.travelwithlamb.com

Our first school we visited. Pic taken by www.travelwithlamb.com

Take a moment and walk in their shoes, those that have…

I tell myself that I appreciate all that I have. This comes to the forefront of my mind as I see what is in front of me; doors hang off their hinges, windows miss their glass and the water is supplied by large JoJo Tanks. I see faces peek through the windows as the iconic Kingsley Land Rover settles in front of their school.

Placing my mind in theirs, I wonder if they have any idea as to why we are here, why we do what we do and take the time to spread our message. I scoff at the rich for splurging on materialistic items when there are people in need, are they looking at me in that same light?

United for a cause... www.earthorganisation.org

United for a cause… www.earthorganisation.org

The picture tells a story, an important one…

A representative of Rhino Art – Africa is sent out to the schools to educates them in their home language about the crisis we face, rhinos nearing extinction. They are given a piece of paper with a basic outline of the member of The Big 5 and asked to use their artistic talents to fill in the rest. The results were incredible, not only were they beauty on the eyes, but the messages written cemented our hopes at making a difference…

“Don’t kill our rhinos, we want Big 5 not Big 4!”

“We must protect our rhinos!”

The winners received a bike sponsored by Rotary Empangeni, a gift that brought both tears and yelps of joy.

Photo taken by Wokshots Photography - www.facebook.com/wokshots

Photo taken by Wokshots Photography – www.facebook.com/wokshots

What’s next?

Emotionally exhausted but energised by a cause greater than myself, I got into the Hilux againn and eagerly looked onto the next school… my journey had just begun.

Thula Thula sunset... www.thulathula.com

Thula Thula sunset… www.thulathula.com

Special thanks to:

www.earthorganisation.org

www.oneinamillion.co.za

www.kingsleyholgate.net

Read more about this incredible project HERE!