Bak­ing to save the sur­vivors

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

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.

REXINE HAWES

Heike is sell­ing baked goods to raise money to help save African rhi­nos maimed by poach­ers.

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