Happy holidays for some.
We are rapidly approaching that festive time of year again when consumerism takes over logical thought, prices go up and most liquor stores start showing some serious profits. It is a great time of year for some. I, for one, am very happy about the prospect of some decent weather to go exploring the fair Cape on my mountain bike and spending some time with loved ones. Let’s, however, keep in mind that the majority of people do not have these privileges and their struggle to survive goes on. The same is true of our Rhinos and the many other animals that are constantly under threat due to man’s greed, ignorance and culture. At the time of writing this letter, 891 rhinos have been killed this year and we still have a month and a half to go. The 1000 mark is fast approaching!
The whole “Rhinoforce bracelet debacle” has certainly caused a stir in the country and definitely affected many people’s attitudes towards rhino funding and fundraising organisations in general. I have noticed a definite dip in all things “rhino” related, except the killing of course. As the world becomes more obsessed by outrage it tends to forget or look past the positives that there and sadly this is happening with the rhino NGO industry. Many very dedicated and hard working organisations and people, who are legitimate in every aspect, are being overshadowed by the antics of a few and suffering because of it. Now is not the time to relent on our support of these organisations and people but to step it up as our rhinos continue to suffer. There are many, many success stories out there and the hard work is paying off in numerous areas. It just takes a few minutes to sift through online media and you will see stories of arrests, prosecutions, successful projects and constant determination to win this war. This work needs to be commended, encouraged and supported.
When choosing a charity to support you should always ask a few questions about the organisation and what they’re doing with the money they raise. Are they registered as a Non Profit? Check their registration number. Are they a for profit company that give proceeds to a cause? Where does the money go and who are they funding or supporting? Simple questions that will quickly give you a good idea of what the organisation is up to. All Non Profit organisations are accountable to the Department of Social Development and SARS and have to produce audited financials. The Department of Environmental Affairs have put together a register of all organisations involved in Rhino fundraising and support. This register is by no means compulsory but was a suggestion made by various different organisations to help weed out the not so legit. In case you were unsure of our setup, 12Hours is a registered NPO (121-310 NPO) and we have submitted all our documents to the Department of Environmental Affairs as well. As always, I encourage anyone to get in touch with us to find out what we’re doing to help our Rhinos.
Included in this newsletter is a simple breakdown and wish list if I may, of our current project needs. This is a relatively small, proactive project that will go a long way in ensuring the protection of some Rhinos in Northern KZN. I have broken down the costs, with the help of Amakhosi Lodge who’s rhinos we will be helping, to give everyone an idea of what an operation like this involves and for a bit of interest as well. If you’d like to donate to this project directly or sponsor one of the items on the list then please give us a shout. Rest assured, 100% of money donated will go directly towards this project.
As we all wind down after a busy year let’s keep in mind that the poaching will not, and in all likelihood will increase as we approach 2014. Our beloved rhinos need us now more than ever and we cannot let the antics of a few taint the hard, dedicated work being done by so many. Please show your support where you can.
I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the wise Chief Seattle. “When all the great beasts are gone then man will surely die from great loneliness of spirit.”
Happy holidays to you all!!