Wonderbag, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and The Safari Store team up against rhino poaching in Hluhluwe
Wonderbag and The Safari Store teamed up with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife on 14 August to hold a pilot event for a rhino anti-poaching engagement within Zululand’s Hluhluwe community. 360 Wonderbags were given away as part of a Wonderfeast where residents were educated about the impacts of rhino poaching and the benefits of using a Wonderbag for cooking.
The initiative forms part of a Buy One Give One initiative launched with The Safari Store where for every Mara&Meru Safari Voyager bag sold to their global clients via their online portal, The Safari Store donated an anti-poaching Wonderbag to a local South African community to curb rhino poaching. Wonderbag in turn donated one of their bags for every bag donated by The Safari Store.
Managing Director Steve Adams of The Safari Store, a high end online safari shopping website, is passionate about rhino conservation especially in KwaZulu-Natal, his home province. “I want to convey a message to people living on the Hluhluwe Game Reserve border that rhino poaching is unacceptable and we need their help to stop the problem,” he said.
The revolutionary Wonderbag is a portable, non-electric, heat retention cooker where food is cooked in the bag with no need for electricity, coal or gas. Food is simply brought to the boil and left in the bag to cook. Thus, it assists in lowering household expenses and reducing indoor air pollution among its many other benefits.
The Wonderbags distributed at the event were embroidered with a strong anti-poaching message in Zulu with instructions to call a USSD hotline to report any suspicious activities. “Using the Wonderbag as the medium we’ve put a powerful and highly visible message in the heart of every home. We are grateful to AAT who provided the hotline to this initiative. When a resident reports an incident, the details are sent directly to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve Managers and they will deploy teams as needed,” says Adams.
The bags were distributed as part of a Wonderfeast where recipients were taught how to use their bag effectively so they could feel the full impact of its benefits which include among others, lowering energy costs and reducing deforestation.
Wonderbag Operations Manager, Tanah Dankert said, “We often engage with local communities and assist them through our Wonderbag Foundation but this is the first time using the power of a Wonderbag to help protect our endangered rhinos. We are very proud to be part of this initiative which will go a long way to combatting rhino poaching and empowering families using a Wonderbag at the same time.”
The rhino anti-poaching initiative falls under Wonderbag’s progressive Coalition of Action (COA) programme which accommodates the company’s community-based activations. Wonderbag Managing Director, Fiona James said, “The COA gives us a platform to partner with other entities to affect real change across Africa and the extremely successful activation alongside The Safari Store on the 14 August was hopefully the first of many of these events.”
The anti-poaching USSD hotline number is *134*RHINO#. Please contact email@example.com for more information or to get involved in this worthwhile initiative.