Posts Tagged With: philanthropy

Dare to Hope

Stop the presses!


Rub your eyes, read it again. Yes, this is for real. American philanthropist, Howard Buffett donated this phenomenal amount to SANParks (South Africa National Parks) on Monday.

Buffet is no stranger to charitable contributions in Africa, having made previous donations toward alleviating poverty, with particular concentration on areas of conflict.  He sees this as a link in the chain, stating

“When you see what conflict does to people, you cannot turn away. That conflict is fuelled by rhino horns, elephant ivory.” 

Howard Buffet in Cameroon

Howard Buffett in Cameroon.

Long-term plan

Over the next 30 months, there is a campaign in place throughout Kruger National Park to stomp out poaching through improved intelligence.  It will provide

the rangers with badly needed technology and equipment. Some of the equipment will include:
*aerostat balloons
*land vehicles equipped with electronic sensors to track poachers
*fencing sensors near the Mozambique border

An aerostat balloon similar to this one along the Mexican/US border, will be used as the "eye in the sky" to monitor Kruger National Park.

An aerostat balloon similar to this one along the Mexican/US border, will be used as the “eye in the sky” to monitor Kruger National Park.

According to SANParks CEO David Mabunda this is a “bankable project” since South Africa contains the world’s only viable rhino population. Indeed they are home to over 80% of the world’s remaining rhino. For every international tourist in Africa, eight  jobs are created. Without the Big Five like the rhino, there are no safaris, thus no jobs.

“All we need is a game-changer … this donation will give us technology. We need to know when the poachers pitch up on our border so that we are ready for them and have a kind of welcome for them, ” said Mabunda.

As part of the answer to the war on poaching, in 2012 retired military major General Johan Jooste was named to lead the charge. According to Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in SA, Jooste’s plan was “starting to bear fruit”.

If this is true, could the generosity of Buffett be just the push the rhinos need? Dare we hope?

Categories: Good News, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Its my “Thing”

rhino arrowPeople often notice my rhino tattoo and ask “whats with the rhino?”

To which I reply “I love rhinos. This tat reminds me of my greater purpose, my dream, my goal.  I want to go to Africa, I want to fight poaching.”

Then comes the look – the raised eyebrows, the incredulous expression, the “you’re an odd duck, a nut, a girl whose cheese has slid off her cracker.”

Granted rhinos aren’t a popular topic, there’s no glamour or cute and fuzzy effect about them. Not to mention from a philanthropic perspective, they’re not first on most people’s priority list. (Most global issues aren’t.)

But that’s ok. We don’t all share the same plight in life. Imagine if everyday someone knocked on your door to ask for your pledge to breast cancer awareness, if that’s all they talked about at work, if it was the only topic on the news. After awhile, your sensitivity to it would wane. (Not to mention a bit unfair for the prostate, leukemia, ovarian, and lung cancer patients.)

This doesn’t mean I don’t care about breast cancer or supporting veterans or helping my local charities. It’s simply that we all have our own “thing” in life. A path, a passion, something that speaks to us. For me, that is the rhino.

For every cause, there is a warrior to fight it. I just happen to be a rhino warrior. I didn’t choose this, I was meant for this.

So the next time someone asks you why, tell them it’s your thing. Own it, and be the best at it you can be.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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