Rhino Art

Changing Hearts and Minds

Without community support, the future of rhino and other endangered species is doomed. It is therefore essential that we ignite a passion for wildlife amongst our youth. Many rural children living close to game reserves - and even urban children - have never had the opportunity to see rhinos in the wild, nor do they fully understand the value of conservation and its links to culture, heritage, job creation and rural development. The Rhino Art Project aims to gather the largest number of children's 'Art Voices' ever recorded and to let the children's voices be heard.

In an effort to fight the war against poaching, Rhino Art involves local communities that are at times the silent witnesses to the slaughter. We increase conservation awareness amongst the youth and cultivate a next generation of wildlife 'ambassadors' that has a vested interest in the protection of rhinos and other endangered species.
The Rhino Art project also adds to the 'groundswell' of public support for Rhino Protection. Our dedicated team consists of Greg Betts from Rhino Art, Suthu Mazosiwe from Kuzuko Lodge/Foundation, Malumzi Matiwane from Rhino Art and Elton Steenberg from Kuzuko Lodge/Foundation.

Suthu and Melumzi last visited two schools on a daily basis throughout the week. They did a small introduction "ice breaker" and proceeded with an educational talk about Rhino poaching and the impact of Rhino poaching on conservation and future generations.

Each child received a copy of the Rhino Art picture and had the opportunity to decorate it according to his or her own personality. They were also requested to write a message about rhinos and what their thoughts are regarding rhino poaching. The top five pictures each received a certificate.

We cannot win the war against rhino poaching if we don't involve the communities living alongside the reserves. We need to be conscious of their concerns, include and assist the communities. By recording the Rhino Art conservation messages, we gain an understanding of what is in the hearts and minds of the children.

We are able to identify specific themes communicated as a result of the art and in some cases gain 'intelligence' with regards to poaching syndicates. This information is translated to authorities to help combat poaching activities. African children have a real voice that can be used to strengthen relationships with government bodies and mobilise politicians and authorities to listen.

The activities at the schools are designed to be informative, fun and rewarding with children also participating in a soccer game and winning prizes.