PROJECTS ON THE GO
It has been too long since my last update on the progress of 12Hours, and of course on the progress in the greater war against Rhino poaching, but we have been busy and have some fantastic projects and initiatives on the go. Firstly though, some updates from the frontline.
Rhino death statistics and arrest numbers are still hard to come by from the DEA and sadly they are not always reliable or a true reflection of the reality on the ground. The last update was from the end of April and the death count was 363 for the year. That’s a figure of 3 rhino a day! Let that sink in for a while. When we started our organisation we were losing 2 Rhinos a day, now we are losing 3. The exact amount of people arrested so far this year is unknown to me although the minister is claiming a very high conviction rate. Unfortunately, as this article points out, http://traveller24.news24.com/Explore/Green/rhino-statistics-the-devil-is-in-the-details-20160513 the devil is in the details and the high conviction rate is only indicative of those cases that go to trial. We have always strived to be positive in our reporting and approach to rhino poaching but not at the expense of truth. The reality on the ground is quite simple; not enough poachers or their bosses are going to trial. Too many cases are being blundered or simply thrown out due to mismanagement, bribery, corruption etc. My friends and contacts on the ground will paint a very different picture than what is often presented to us. If the authorities involved in this, whether it’s the government, the DEA, Hawks, NPA or local law enforcement do not commit fully to winning this war, we are still on a hiding to nothing. All we are asking is for is willingness and commitment to fixing the rot that runs so deep. Constant pressure from all organisations and especially the public will go a long way in helping to put more poaching criminals where they belong.
As always, we remain positive and continue to do what we can to help and are currently involved with 2 great projects. The first is called Run the London Underground http://www.runthelondonunderground.co.uk and involves some of our countrymen (and lady) running all the tube lines around London, raising awareness and funds for 12Hours. They are passionate about funding a dog project and we look forward to putting that together in the near future. Go for a run in support, it’s good for you and the Rhinos.
The next project is being put together by the amazing and talented Karrie Hovey, all the way in the USA. You may recall Karrie and her partner, Charles, raising lots of money last year for ourselves and Rhinoart during the Joberg2C mountain bike event. This year she has set up an initiative called Project Thorn (Tangible Help Our Rhinos Need) http://projectthorn.com/#1458708261491-c5da818a-e6b0 which aims to raise $15 000-00. These funds will be used to bring back a horse patrol unit back into the Imfolozi Game Reserve in KZN. It is a fantastic and much needed project so please take the time to read all about it in the link provided.
Thirdly I’d like to mention our ongoing relationship with Old Mutual and their “More Than Yourself initiative” http://morethanyourself.co.za/cause/12hours/ . Thanks to this wonderful support we have raised another R34 000-00 so far this year.
Finally, I would like to extend our thanks to those who support us on a monthly basis. This vital and sustainable source of funds allows us to support projects and raise money on a continuous basis and is the lifeline of our organisation. http://12hours.co.za/donate/
So while there is blundering and mismanagement in certain areas, there is positivity and progress in others and this is where we will carry on with our work. By supporting and funding viable projects and initiatives, we will continue to make a difference. We will always remain positive in the face of endless frustration and we encourage you all to do the same. Never underestimate the power of a million united voices.
Cheers for now.