Wilderness Wildlife Trust Donation
The Bead Coalition’s most successful initiative, RHINO FORCE, is proud to make its first donation payment of R20,000 to Wilderness Wildlife Trust. The donation was earmarked to assist with an urgent collaring and de-snaring operation in Malawi’s Liwonde National Park, which hosts the country’s most important black rhino population. This is just the start of The Bead Co’s contribution to the Trust to assist with their future rhino translocation and conservation efforts.
RHINO FORCE’S successful red, black and white beaded bracelet on sale in retail outlets across South Africa is the original rhino bracelet with over 600,000 sold in support of rhino conservation, awareness and local employment. The commercial, themed-bracelet production company helps keep 30 previously disadvantaged women employed in a rural development programme in SA’s North West Province. These women thread, assemble, close and package their products, before delivery to retailers in South Africa can take place. Colin Cooper, Chairman of the MRDP says, “In the Marico area, there is no work and virtually no new business, so this is an excellent opportunity for our beaders to earn a real income and to showcase their skills”.
Says CEO, Joanne Lapin Thorpe, “The RHINO FORCE bracelet was created to raise awareness and pay over a portion of proceeds to rhino conservation efforts, as well as to support local employment. In essence the bracelet supports the life of a cause and the cause of a life. Our business develops commercial, tangible mechanisms that financially aid conservation activities. The bracelet is a place where commerce and charity can thrive together in a sustainable, mutually beneficial model.”
Wilderness Safaris and The Wilderness Wildlife Trust, have been involved in rhino conservation for more than 20 years; assisting with black and white rhino reintroductions and conservation in six countries: Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For more detail, please visit its blog page: http://www.we-are-wilderness.com/article/212-wilderness-safaris-celebrates-world-rhino-day-with-20-years-of-rhino-conservation
For further info on the Trust: http://www.wildernesstrust.com/
A further donation of R100,000 to RhODIS, the Onderstepoort DNA profiling database, which will fund the indexing of 166 individual rhinos was also made by the Bead Co. RhODIS is the project of The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Science, at the University of Pretoria. The donation is the direct result of RHINO FORCE bracelet sales.
This local, hand-made, iconic bracelet for rhino conservation has raised and paid R4,832,997.59 to rhino conservation NGO’s and charities to date. Previously disadvantaged women in rural communities in South Africa hand-bead the symbolic bracelets. “I am inspired by our loyal supporters who proudly wear the original, best-selling conservation accessory that actually saves rhinos”, says Joanne Lapin Thorpe, CEO of The Bead Co, “ I am equally delighted that the life of a cause can now benefit the cause of a life and vice versa”.
Dr Cindy Harper, Geneticist at Onderstepoort, instrumental in developing the DNA testing of rhino, believes each rhino deserves a thorough and efficient investigation and in some cases provides evidence to ensure that a poacher or trafficker is brought to book. She thanked RHINO FORCE for the generous donation adding, “It is constantly a struggle to keep up but the kind of support that you have provided makes this possible and is a motivation to continue”.
Bracelets are available at participating retailers for R40 each, for corporate sales via Amrod Corporate and online at www.thebeadco.co.za, they will post anywhere in the world.