Marina Berkett is a 22-year-old final year vet student at the Royal Veterinary College. She is the founder of Project Protect Rhino and has already raised £1000 for the foundation. Here is her story.
My mum grew up in Durban and I am forever indebted to her for my love of Africa and its wildlife. Our family have always had a passion for conservation. After my brother, Christopher, came home from a three-month veterinary internship with Dr William Fowlds in April 2016, he was so shaken by witnessing poaching scenes first-hand that we decided to take a more active role.
I started by designing the logo, had it printed on a few t-shirts and I just went from there. Our family and friends were all so keen to listen and help, and this support has grown over the last 18 months. I have now developed a strong support base at the Royal Veterinary College and hope to expand this.
Working with rhino first-hand on the Vets Go Wild trip made me even more passionate. My main aim has always been to raise awareness in the UK, educating anyone who will listen about rhino – not only the imminent threat of extinction but, most importantly, the extreme suffering of each individual animal.
I now sell a whole range of Project Protect Rhino merchandise and have already raised £1000 for the Chipembere Rhino Foundation. My next step is to make an awareness video at my university.
Please visit my Facebook page called Project Protect Rhino where I post updates on where the money goes (last year it was for a tracking collar) or email me at email@example.com.
“We are truly thankful for the continued support we have received from your Project Protect – an amazing effort!! It is funding through efforts like yours that ensure the anti-poaching units remain motivated and equipped to best do their job.”
Brent Cook, Chipembere Rhino Foundation
“We are so very proud of Marina’s initiative with Project Protect Rhino. Her passion and enthusiasm is recognised by friends and family alike. She is determined to make a difference and we are really convinced she will do so.”
Penelope and Neil Berkett
“My sister is one of the most kind-hearted, passionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The effort and time she has put into Project Protect has been inspirational and, having seen first-hand the horrors of the poaching crisis, it is a project I feel very moved by.”