The Nissan-sponsored Rights for Rhinos campaign kicked off the week with visits to a number of schools in the Tshwane municipality to raise awareness of rhino poaching, which has risen remarkably since the beginning of the year. Nissan is assisting the hardy walkers with a NP300 Hardbody back-up vehicle as they spread the conservation gospel on their marathon 1,700 kilometre Musina to Cape Town voyage.
First up was the Tshwane Muslim School, where activists Paul Jennings and Sboniso Phakati shared their knowledge with a group of enthusiastic learners. “It was a new cultural experience for us and we were heartened by the eagerness and interest expressed,” said Jennings.
Next on the schedule was the Anton Van Wouw Laerskool, a school with a strong eco awareness ethic, reflected in the on-site vegetable garden and recycling initiatives. So fired up were the environmentally-conscious learners after the conservationists’ presentation that the youngsters collected R1, 300 in donations to assist the Rights for Rhinos campaign. “Our talk really hit home,” said a delighted Phakati. “Their gesture shows true commitment on the part of our youth to saving South Africa’s rhino and heritage.”
Also showing solidarity for the conservation cause was Garsfontein Laerskool, which has recently been awarded a rare eco-schools international flag.
With the tourism industry another key education and awareness target, Jennings and Phakati aim to inspire the staff and guests of the Radisson Blu Hotel to join the ‘save the rhino’ bandwagon when they present today.
The Rights for Rhinos team are also appealing for donations from members of the public. For more information, please visit http://www.rightsforrhinos.co.za