What can you do with $20?
Travel the Galapagos for 10 days? Go on a safari with a friend in Kruger National Park, South Africa? Spend 10 nights at a luxury spa resort in Nicaragua? Help save an entire species from extinction?
How about yes to all of these?
Travelers Building Change is raffling off over $30,000 in awesome prizes to those that donate as little as $20 to their #JustOneRhino campaign – which is raising money for Rhinos Without Borders and helping save the critically endangered rhino population.
Travelers Building Change – Who are they?
Started by Jeremy Scott Foster of travelFREAK.net, Travelers Building Change is a charitable group of travelers who wanted to give back to smaller, needy charities with an eco-friendly and responsible travel related focus.
Each year the TBC picks a different charity to raise money for, and one that puts 100% of what they raise towards a specific, measurable item. Last year this group raised over $7500 for the Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which went to buy more land so the SEF could rescue and rehabilitate more captive and abused elephants.
This year the Travelers Building Change’s goal is to raise $45,000 for the Rhinos Without Borders project, which is the total cost to move one rhino to safety.
Why Save Rhinos?
Because by 2020, (yes within just 5 years) rhinos WILL be extinct without drastic intervention!
Rhinos are being killed at a faster rate than they can reproduce, and they are mostly being slaughtered for their horns, which are (falsely) believed to have magical healing powers by new-age Chinese medicine. Rhino horns, which are actually made of the same stuff as our fingernails, are being ground into powders and sold in the Asian markets as cures for everything from cancer, to diabetes, to the common cold. And obviously fingernails and rhino horns hold no such magical cures.
At the moment, rhino horns are worth more than gold, and the rarer rhinos become, the more expensive rhino horns becomes, making poachers see greater reward for killing these animals than protecting them. In some places, like South Africa, rhinos are also allowed to be hunted for sport, but it is the rhino horn trade, and the money made off of it, that is the main cause for the drastic decline in their population.
In 2013, 1,004 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone, compared to 668 in 2012, and just 13 in 2007. And numbers for 2014 are already exceeding 2013’s total. (source; The Guardian)
The imminent extinction of the African rhino is the reason Travelers Building Change felt the need to help save them. And they picked Rhinos Without Borders as the charity to raise money for because of Rhinos Without Border’s unique and groundbreaking solution to this problem.
What is Rhinos Without Borders?
Rhinos Without Borders is a project started by Dereck and Beverly Joubert – award winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers in Residence, and owners of Great Plains Foundation (a foundation that has programs aimed at conserving various endangered animals).
They teamed up with &Beyond, another conservation and safari company working in Africa, and created Rhinos Without Borders. Together they saw the problem, saw the issue South Africa has controlling and monitoring poachers, and decided, “Let’s Move The Rhinos!”
In South Africa, big game hunting is still legal and a rhino is killed every 7.5 hours (although most are killed illegally). Botswana, on the other hand, has one of the toughest anti-poaching systems, and lowest poaching and corruption rates, in all of Africa, and a shoot-to-kill policy regarding poachers.
Dereck Joubert, in an interview in Green Global Travel, explained why moving rhinos to Botswana is needed:
“A number of things. Low human density helps, as we [Botswana] have 1/20th of population of South Africa. Botswana is a virtually corruption-free country compared to many others in Africa, with very large wild reserves where it’s incredibly difficult to even find a Rhino.
We have no ports, like Mombasa (Kenya) or Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), that allow for steady and difficult-to-police smuggling. Our anti-poaching unit is largely run by the country’s military forces, which means there’s an entire army at hand to fight poaching, with all the training, arms and resources that implies. In many countries anti-poaching forces are armed with WWII rifles and share ammunition! We have helicopters, patrols, military grade weapons and supplies, and of course a shoot-to-kill policy.
That’s not to say we won’t see an increase in poaching in Botswana. We will, and everyone will as it gets worse. But poaching and trade are risk-and-reward games, and what we have is a high risk environment for poachers.”
– Dereck Joubert, on the Rhinos Without Borders project, 2014.
By moving rhinos from South Africa to Botswana, there is great hope to curb the poaching rate. Great Plains has had wonderful success with their Big Cats Initiative, and now they hope to do the same with rhinos.
So What About These Prizes You Mentioned?
Every person who donates a minimum of $20 to #JustOneRhino receives a set of 12 rhino backgrounds for your computer and a DIY origami rhino (and who doesn’t love origami?!).
A $20 donation also gets you 10 raffle entries to win one of the amazing prizes listed on the website (which were donated by over 30 sponsors who also feel strongly about protecting rhinos and the world in general). The more you donate, the more raffle entries you get towards these prizes. And there are awesome prizes, including multiple trips (worth thousands of dollars each), hotel stays around the world, watches, cameras, photography, and so on. The donation period is open now through the end of February, and the prize winners will be announced on March 3rd, 2015 – World Wildlife Day.
And 100% of the money donated goes directly to Rhinos Without Borders and moving one rhino to Botswana. There are no “administration fees” or nonsense in this campaign. None of the sponsors, in Travelers Building Change, or in Rhinos Without Borders, are making money off the #JustOneRhino campaign.
All the money you give goes directly towards saving a rhino!
Help a great cause and win some amazing prizes at the same time!
Make your donation at TravelersBuildingChange.org.