Baking to save the survivors
The plight of the endangered African rhinos has touched the heart of a nine-year-old girl.
Heike Jansen, a Matamata Christian School student, is holding monthly fundraisers to assist the work of the South African Saving the Survivors organisation.
Heike plans to raise a minimum of $250 before September, when her family will travel to South Africa.
She intends to give the money directly to the organisation while there.
Saving the Survivors aim is to treat and care for rhinos, elephants and other endangered wildlife that have fallen victim to poaching or traumatic incidents.
The rhino is the main focus of their work.
In many cases the rhino are darted, their tusks removed and the animal left to die.
Many females have calves, which are dependant on their mothers for three years.
Volunteers treat the injured animals and provide care for the orphans.
Annually, between 80-120 rhinos benefit from the Saving the Survivors organisation, but in 2015, over 1300 were victims of poaching.
While in South Africa, Heike will spend time in the rhino orphanages and see first hand how the fundraising will be used.
Heike, an animal lover found out about the work of the organisation through their website and was affected by what was happening to the rhino.
‘‘The rhinos could be extinct soon, so people might grow up and not know what a rhino is, and not remember one of God’s amazing creatures.’’
She presented her concerns to the school staff with a power point presentation.
They got right behind her cause, suggesting a monthly bake sale to help raise funds.
‘‘The school is excited that Heike is passionate about this cause and want to encourage her,’’ said teacher Emma Neilson.
‘‘Our school is all about serving people and wanting to make a difference, and animals are part of God’s creation.
‘‘It excites me to see the passion and enthusiasm come from my students.
‘‘I love how she has seen a need and is willing to put in the effort and time to make a difference,’’ Neilson said.
The bake sale will be held for the school community on the last Friday of each month.
Heike is selling baked goods to raise money to help save African rhinos maimed by poachers.