Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Skydive for Rhinos

We all have something we care enough about to become vocal about. Some of us even have certain charities that we support. My friend Mary-Jane, for instance, feel strongly about the protection of sharks, my friend Christine is passionate orphans that are blind or deaf, I care strongly about issues regarding liberty (religions liberty, freedom of expression, a right to privacy, etc.), and so on. Social networking is a great tool to make other people aware of the things that are worth being aware about. So when I received this forward in my inbox I thought I'd share it with you. Maybe it is something you care to get involved in too. It is a project run by my "extended" family.


Good day

Meyer Productions is proud to be a part of the Skydive for Rhinos awareness and conservation campaign to prevent the decimating and senseless slaughter of South Africa's rhinos, counted among the magnificent Five of the country's wildlife.

In support of this campaign to protect this diminishing species, Meyer Productions has produced a 1080p high resolution video, which you can view from the link below. We hope that you will watch this video and share this link with others and by so doing, help spread the message and generate support. To view the video, click on:

Here is some more background and information about this project:

Skydive for Rhinos is the brainchild of the staff of the African Conservation Trust (ACT), who in May this year, were moved beyond the point of outrage and spectatorship;, to taking personal action regarding the slaughter of rhinos in South Africa. It started small, with six women volunteering to skydive for the first time and in doing so, raise funds from their friends and family to improve anti-poaching efforts and increase public awareness of the increasing numbers of rhino being poached. But within a couple of weeks, the volunteer skydive group reached 40 and the campaign went viral.

The jumpers came from all walks of life, all ages and race groups, with 20 ACT staff members making up the bulk of the skydiving team. Others who joined in were Jabulani Ngubane (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's Rhino Protection Officer) and Andrew Zaloumis (CEO, iSimangaliso Wetland Park) and concerned members of the public, including varsity students, entrepreneurs, a female helicopter pilot and even a couple of youthful grandmothers. What they had in common was an over-riding passion to halt the extermination of a species that is intrinsic to South Africa's culture and heritage, voluntarily willing to put their own lives on the line for a 7 minute, 10,000ft skydiving feat that was a world-first in conservation circles.

 Skydive for Rhinos took place on 13 August 2011 at Angels Way, Durban Skydive Centre's base in Eston, KwaZulu-Natal. It was an incredible day, made possible by a group of amazing people and supported by tens of thousands others backing this campaign. Some of the skydivers had never been in a plane before - yet they put aside their nerves, embraced this new experience...and then threw themselves out of perfectly functioning aircraft in a courageous show of support for rhinos!

In just 10 weeks, these 40 people raised over R180,000 in cash from their friends and family and generated business 'in kind' support to the value of around R240,000. 100% of the funds raised are going to improve bona-fide, but under-funded, anti-poaching efforts in KZN, including aerial surveillance of threatened reserves, equipment for anti-poaching patrols, camera traps and micro-chipping identification of vulnerable rhino. In addition, a large cyber-tracking company approached us with an offer to donate their technology and we're now planning to introduce this in to the reserves in great need of this form of surveillance.

The campaign received excellent media coverage in all the major KwaZulu-Natal newspapers; as well as East Coast Radio. Some magazines also carried the story, including Africa Geographic and Wildside, as well as a large number of online media websites.

As of today, 276 rhino have been killed this year - the latest being the tragic story of the Aquila rhino in the Western Cape. We at ACT will be continuing our efforts to raise funds for those on the front line of the rhino poaching crisis.

We really hope that you will join us in helping to spread the message, generate support and keep the conservation message alive.
To make a donation you can visit ACT's website (click on the skydiving rhino animation), or see - this page is also a conduit to a host of national initiatives and networks that are trying to halt rhino poaching.

Kind regards

André Meyer

Donate now!
Bank: Nedbank
Account Name: ACT Rhino Fund
Branch: Musgrave Centre, South Africa
Branch code: 130126
Account No: 1008662976

For International Payments:
Nedbank code: 198765
Swift Number: NEDSZAJJ

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