Heike’s brownies help rhinos
For six months Heike Jensen has made batches and batches of brownies.
It’s not because she loves the delicious treat, but because she wants to do her part to protect rhino in South Africa from poachers.
Once a month since March, nine-year-old Heike has been holding bake sales at Matamata Christian School, where she attends, to raise funds for the Save the Survivors foundation in South Africa.
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.
‘‘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,’’ said Heike.
‘‘I felt pretty sad because they were dying. We want those rhino’s to survive.’’
Heike and her family are from Pretoria, South Africa.
She intends to hand the money over direct when she and her family visit the foundation when they travel there in October.
While there she will visit the rhino orphanage and see first hand how the money will be spent.
She originally hoped to raise $250 from the bake sales, but has already collected close to $500.
Dad Mike Jansen says he estimates they will have raised $800 by October.
Hamilton Zoo found out about Heike’s fundraising project and invited her to visit the rhino.
‘‘It was exciting to see the rhino and see they were being taken care of,’’ she said.
‘‘They were really rough to touch and I wasn’t scared.’’
If anyone would like to make a donation for Heike Jensen, to give to the Save the Survivors foundation, please drop it to the Matamata Christian School office on Smith St in Matamata by the end of September.
Heike is helping to save the survivors by selling baked goods.