CONSERVATION & COMMUNITIES

United by a passion for nature, culture and community, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation has been supporting conservation efforts and communities bordering wildlife parks throughout Africa for more than a decade, starting with the Boundless Southern Africa expedition, which spread a positive transfrontier conservation message to hundreds of communities across eight southern African countries.

We are proud to count the acclaimed African Parks group, Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique), Tembe Elephant Park, SANParks and private/community-owned game reserves in South Africa as conservation partners, along with many other national and provincial parks and private nature reserves throughout Africa.

Wherever possible on all our expeditions into Africa, we assist game reserves, their field rangers, anti-poaching units and families through our Malaria Prevention, Mashozi’s Rite to Sight and Water Purification humanitarian work, and support conservation agencies in their efforts to uplift impoverished communities living close to wildlife areas.

As part of this, we now provide nutritional support (in partnership with the DoMore Foundation and others), early childhood development teaching materials and additional resources to 50 poorly equipped creches in northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, to improve the learning opportunities of over 3,000 children in the critical 0-6years age group who live in rural communities bordering game reserves.

CONSERVATION EDUCATION
Instilling a passion for wildlife in the hearts and minds of today’s youth is one of our driving forces and in 2013, the Land Rover-supported Izintaba Zobombo expedition launched our Community Conservation Education programme.

RHINO ART – ‘LET THE CHILDREN’S VOICES BE HEARD’
More than 10,000 white and black rhinos have been brutally killed by poaching syndicates in the past 10 years throughout Africa. Both species are now on the edge of extinction.

  • Ongoing demand for rhino horn from Asian countries is driving the senseless killing of the world’s critically endangered rhinos.
  • In South Africa, a rhino falls every 12 hours to a poacher’s bullet.

Using art and impactful community events, the objective of this programme is to gather the largest number of children’s voices ever recorded in support of rhino conservation, and to use their ‘hearts and minds’ messages as a worldwide call to action against rhino poaching.

In partnership with conservation NGOs, committed donors and passionate volunteers, this highly effective programme has now reached over 520,000 young people throughout Africa and beyond, including Nepal, Malaysia and Vietnam, one of the main Asian countries driving the senseless demand for rhino horn. It is South Africa’s most comprehensive youth-focussed rhino conservation education programme and has been recognized by the prestigious Mail & Guardian Environmental Education and the GRAA Rhino Conservation Awards.

Through vibrant community events that include soccer, netball, drama and music (the award-winning Maskandi duo of Qadasi & Maqhinga are long-time Rhino Art ambassadors), the programme also reaches deep into the heart of communities, helping to improve relationships and understanding of the conservation efforts of their game reserve neighbours. Furthermore, the programme takes winning Rhino Artists, teachers and community leaders on Wildlife Experiences with partnering game reserves; for most, it is the first time that they see live rhinos in the wild and they return to their communities as ardent, budding conservationists and vocal advocates for ending the senseless slaughter of rhinos and other endangered wildlife.

ELEPHANT ART
Like the rhino, Africa’s elephant populations have plummeted due to the illegal ivory trade and habitat loss. 1,3million elephants used to roam the continent, but conservationists estimate that only 415,000 elephants remain in Africa today.

Building on the success of the Rhino Art conservation education programme, we launched the Elephant Art programme at the start of our Heart of Africa expedition, which was dedicated to Africa’s elephants and raised awareness of the rampant poaching of the critically endangered Forest Elephant in the Congo rainforests. With the support of volunteer partners in key regions, this programme is now active in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and Chad and the aim is to reach a further 100,000 youth in the next three years.

To get involved, email: sheelagh@kingsleyholgatefoundation.org .

“What we need in the world today is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying. The screams of agony of rhinos who have had their horns chopped off whilst still alive should reach out into the hearts of all of us. Rhinos have a particularly plaintive cry and once heard, it is never forgotten.” Dr Ian Player, renowned rhino conservationist.