End of Year
2014 is rapidly nearing its end and over 1020 Rhinos have already perished this year. The numbers initially paint a grim picture but when you look at the year on year death rate, we are turning in the right direction and the hard work being done out there is starting to pay dividents. More on this a little later though.
We at 12Hours are chuffed at the way our year has turned out and although many changes and challenges have presented themselves, we have overcome them all and put ourselves in a very good position to surge ahead next year. The year has been tougher though for our beloved Rhinos, amongst other creatures, and it is because of their plight that we will continue to soldier on in what we do.
Our sms card campaign continues be a success and we have almost reached 3000 supporters so far. We will continue this campaign, in various forms, into the New Year and everyone is invited. Remember that R25 may not sound like a lot but it does make a difference and ultimately it is not just about a donation, it is about building an army of support and a collective voice for our Rhinos. Some of you may have remembered that myself and Bruce road a portion of the Joberg2C mountain bike race and raised over R60 000-00 which was distributed to our beneficiaries. The good news is that we’ve been invited back to ride again next year and more importantly, raise a lot more money for our rhinos.
For those of you who weren’t aware, we handed over money to the following causes this year: Project Rhino KZN, RhODIS (Rhino DNA Index System) at Pretoria University, Spioenkop Game Reserve fence project and Amakhosi Safari Lodge. For more information on these projects and our beneficiaries please refer to previous newsletters on our site. We are open and transparent about the funds we raise so please give us a shout any time to find out more.
We have recently started a new phase in our operation and the response has been positive which means we’ll be pushing hard towards the end of the year and beginning of next year. Basically we’ve set ourselves a target of enlisting a 1000 people who will donate R100 to us on a monthly basis and I cannot thank enough those who have joined the drive already. If you think about it, 1000 people is not a lot and neither is a R100. Most people I know will spend more than that on coffee a week so please support us in this worthy campaign. We’ve always stated that constant, sustainable funds are the way to success and this campaign will ensure that we can support numerous beneficiaries on a constant basis.
Let’s return to the sad Rhino deaths total of 1020. It is a huge number again but the one positive note we should all take from this is that this year is the first time since 2007 that there hasn’t been a massive increase in the rate of killing. Yes we’ll end off with a worse total than last year but only just. This says to me that all the hard work is paying off. Countless hours spent in the field protecting rhinos is having an effect. It also says to me that if we are starting to slow the rate of killing then we can continue to do so with more support and drop it even further. This should also show the pessimists out there that supporting rhinos is not a lost cause. Take a second to consider what sort of dire situation we would be in right now if all the dedication that’s being put in were to come to an end. Sadly, I don’t think people realise how much positive work is being done or how many people risk their lives on a daily basis to help our Rhinos. Why is it that we find it easier to complain and point fingers instead of actually doing something? If there’s one thought I can leave you with as we enter the jolly season, it is this: protecting rhinos is working and is even more so now, a worthwhile cause to support.
Before I close off, let us all take a moment to thank the great Dr Ian Player, who sadly passed away recently, for the legacy he left us and the unrelenting work he did in successfully saving and protecting our rhinos. They and the conservation world have lost a giant in the industry and an amazing human being. If there’s one thing we can learn from him, it’s respect. Respect for one another and more importantly, respect for the wilderness he loved so much.
Happy holidays to you all!!