The Dominion Post
From passion to conservation action
Three young Wellingtonians, each with a lifelong love of animals, are using their passion to help raise money for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Raya Tietjens Hotter, Arabella Tries and Lilly Athfield, all 12, have created their own conservation-themed magazine, Sparkler, featuring 30 pages of animal-related content.
While it started as a school project at Raroa Intermediate, the girls decided to keep working on it through their summer holidays to raise as much money as possible for the wildlife organisation.
‘‘We thought it was a really good charity which was doing a good job helping the environment and we knew they did lots of stuff in New Zealand,’’ Raya says.
‘‘Wildlife is in danger with many species on the brink of extinction and many more are about to be. Luckily, there are some people and organisations that take action such as WWF.’’
So far, the girls have raised $60 from magazine sales, with 100 per cent given to the Wellington-based organisation.
It’s money WWF New Zealand chief executive Livia Esterhazy says will make all the difference.
‘‘Every dollar counts and is used towards conservation in New Zealand. This money will be used in our work with Maui dolphins and with sustainable fisheries.
‘‘Knowing that there are people out there doing some good is so important because we know we’re not on our own.’’
Esterhazy, who sat down with the trio this week, was impressed by their dedication and the professional-looking title they ended up producing.
‘‘It fed us with a lot of positive energy to keep cracking on. It was a huge lift for the team to have them here.
‘‘WWF is 18 people who are very passionate but we can’t change the world and New Zealand all on our own so we need more people doing things like this.’’
Putting together the magazine wasn’t always easy with the three girls spending a lot of time researching and discussing potential story ideas.
‘‘We wrote down a big list of stuff we wanted to do and just got started,’’ Arabella says.
They also reached out to friends and family for ideas and pictures to complement their own ideas.
‘‘We hope our story inspires [others] to make a difference and help the world in their own way. Even kids can make a difference.’’ Raya says.