Selborne pupil on a roll to save rhinos with own board game
A 10-YEAR-OLD East London schoolboy has turned his love of rhinos into a board game, Rolling Rhinos, to try and save the critically endangered species from extinction.
Inspired by Thandi, the Sunshine Coast rhino that somehow survived after her horn was hacked off by poachers, Riley Devan created the unique game as a way to protect Eastern Cape rhino from being wiped out.
The game is played by rolling a pair of rhino dice and points are scored depending on how they land – on their feet, sides or back.
If they land on their feet, the name Thandi can be seen on the back and a player scores the highest amount of points as she survived despite her horn being hacked off.
If the dice land on their sides, then the names of rhino that died in the Eastern Cape, appear and the score is less.
The score from the dice moves a player around a board, and the winner is whoever finishes first.
The Selborne Primary Grade 5 pupil said he decided to try and help raise funds for conservation after his school participated in the Rooting for Rhino campaign that involved hundreds of schoolchildren across South Africa standing and joining hands in a rhino formation.
“I really do love rhino and I will do anything I can to try and save them.”
Starting out selling homemade treats at school sport derby days – which he billed “popcorn to help pop the (rhino) population” and “cookies for a cause” – Riley raised R500 for Eastern Cape-based Chipembere Rhino Foundation before devising a board game to generate more funds.
After a few hours of brainstorming with his parents, Rowan and Meg Devan, the youngster came up with the game to raise money.
“My dad and I were having a chat one day about our favourite animals and I figured out that both of us had the same animal at the top of our list – the rhino,” he explained.
Explaining how Riley’s Rally for Rhino came about, the hardworking youngster said: “I began to think about how sad it would be if rhinos were extinct by the time I was old enough to have this conversation with my own child, so we all decided to do what we could to help raise money for the great organisations who work to save these creatures.”
He said his fundraising efforts had received a lot of support from Selborne Primary, especially from deputy
and head Abrie Pepler.
Instead of getting a big company outside the province to make the bits for the game, Riley and his parents opted to support the local economy.
Riley’s mother, Meg, said they had decided to have the bags in which the two rhino dice and board game are stored, made out of shweshwe fabric by the Parkside-based non-profit organisation The Workbench Group.
“This is our social responsibilty – mentally and physically disabled people make the bags and earn money for doing it. Even the labels are made with love.”
An order for 250 games was made and 100 have already been sold to friends and people at the Beacon Bay market where Riley has been manning a stall in recent weeks.
For more information, visit Riley’s Rally for Rhinos on Facebook. —