Between July and September, 448 ordinary South Africans will leap from 10 000 feet to raise funds for rhino anti-poaching work – and make a sky-high statement that South Africans want the decimation of one of our greatest national assets to stop.
And I’m one of them! I’m Judy Beyer, an ordinary South African and the chief sub-editor at this excellent publication. I’m a little beyond the age at which it’s appropriate to have a midlife crisis, but I’ve decided to take a stand (in fact, a fall) for the heart-rending news that lands on my desk daily.
Every day the number of rhinos being slaughtered for their horns to feed some fairy-tale belief about its medical benefits is growing. In 2011 448 rhinos were killed; we’re just halfway through 2012 and already more than 300 have lost their lives. I’m helping to raise funds to pump up the strength of the anti-poaching units who bravely take on the task of protecting the animals. And jumping with me is my colleague Janine Jacobs. We are Team Africa Geographic and we’re proudly skydiving for rhinos.
We need your help to raise R5 000 each. Sponsor us (a minimum of just R50!) and you could win FIVE gorgeous black-and-white posters of the Big Five: elephant, rhino, African buffalo, lion and leopard, by up-and-coming photographer Richard Millar. They are graphic and gorgeous!
Smaller donations are welcome too – if you donate less than R50, you could win one full-colour image of a rhino by well-known wildlife photographer Etienne Oosthuizen.
Please show your support for South Africa’s rhinos and those protecting them by sponsoring me – your donation WILL make a difference. 100% of the funds raised will go to four major anti-poaching activities that urgently need support:
1. Equipment for Anti-Poaching Units (APU) members, from basic (e.g. sleeping bags) to advanced (e.g. APU tactical vests) and high-tech (e.g. GPS tracking units);
2. Skills training for APU teams, from basic to advanced;
3. Aerial surveillance (a proven poaching deterrent); and
4. Buffer community interventions. Unemployment, poverty and food insecurity often drive desperate people to join poaching syndicates; the money helps to implement projects in the communities bordering game reserves to will alleviate these needs.
Go to http://www.givengain.com/activist/81147/projects/3131/ and https://www.givengain.com/activist/81224/ and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button.
And now for some sit-ups! And deep-breathing exercises. Ommmmmm