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Putting our faith in the youth of our country to save the rhinos...

04 October 2012, 13:16

The onslaught of our rhinos continues unabated and with an apparent renewed fervour…. Today its 430 and the number seem to be on an exponential climb at present. How do we tackle this effectively?

I have in the past 2 weeks had the opportunity to spend some time with various groups of young people and I must say it has been so invigorating.  One becomes discouraged with the numbers of rhino poaching’s seemingly out of control and it is difficult to find a positive in this war against poaching.

Spending an afternoon with the Cricket teams from the Johannesburg University (Soweto Campus) has been just such an injection of renewed energy to fight the war.  Being faced with 25 bright eyed, intelligent, energetic young people who were well versed in the various challenges facing the rhino world was so encouraging. The youth know they will ultimately be the responsible custodians of our rhino heritage and they are motivated and ready to tackle the challenge. Their knowledge and enthusiasm was so infectious and they were thinking out of the box and not along the standard channels. Their suggestions and arguments were logical and left me confident that they were serious about making this happen. So uplifting!

On the other side of the spectrum, I was also invited to chat to some nursery school children and view the artwork they had produced in response to discussions in class about rhino poaching.  Wow!!! Here were children younger than 5 years old who knew all about rhino poaching and the baddies and how the rangers were helping to stop the poaching.  Their simplistic wish to save the rhino and that the rhino horn was not medicine was mind blowing.

Enter 2 young high school ladies who are driven to raise funds to save the rhinos by fundraising in their school and associated communities and friends. Their glowing faces are a testimony to their fervour and passion. How exciting to want to make a difference when the adults around you are throwing up their hands in despair. Their efforts and motivation to get involved is another testament to how our young people are not giving up, so why should we?

We need to use whatever resources we have to ensure the safety of the rhino species for our younger generation, because I have no doubt they are ready willing and able to help keep our rhinos safe for future generations!!!  Their passion and enthusiasm needs to be taken up by the rest of us to preserve the natural heritage. Let the youth of South Africa lead the way, enthusiastically, with bright eyes, with innovation and passion and let’s make sure our rhinos get to live another day!!!

Thank you to those special young people and you are an inspiration to us to remain focussed on the objective of continuing to Unite against Poaching!!!  We will not give up while we have your passion to inspire us….

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