Chipembere Takes to the Catwalk

Chipembere Takes to the Catwalk

Rhino conservation efforts took a glamourous turn recently when Chipembere took to the catwalk at the Fairview Horse Racing Derby in Port Elizabeth on 13 May 2017. Chipembere is both a special All African Arabica coffee blend, roasted for a cause by Port Elizabeth-based Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists, and a local registered non-profit organisation committed to the protection and conservation of Africa’s rhino, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF). For every 250 grams of Chipembere coffee purchased, Mastertons donates R5 to CRF to aid their rhino conservation efforts. As a result, CRF has already funded a successful anti-poaching K9 team in the Eastern Cape and continues to train anti-poaching K9s to track and apprehend suspected poachers, and to provide invaluable assistance on poaching crime scenes. Responsible for placing Chipembere on the catwalk was Samantha Cunningham, a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) designing student who participated in this year’s NMMU fashion show. The fashion show is hosted annually at the Derby Day by the university’s Fashion and Textile Department to showcase garments designed by their second-year students. This year, Masterton’s Coffee added a touch of “coffee flair” to the Derby Day fashion show with the theme “Out of Africa”. The participating students were briefed to create a garment around a Masterton’s coffee blend, incorporating an African feel as well as elements of coffee inspiration ranging from the beans to hessian packaging bags. “I knew as soon as I walked into Mastertons and saw the printed and framed Chipembere Coffee Blend hessian bag on the wall that I wanted to use this package in my design!” says Samantha. “I care deeply...
Local Boy Riley’s Rally For Rhinos

Local Boy Riley’s Rally For Rhinos

Riley Devan, a 13-year-old boy in Grade 8 at Selborne Primary School in East London, has already helped to raise more than R25,000 for organisations that work to save his favourite animals: the critically endangered rhino. Riley’s Rally for Rhinos started in 2014 after a Rooting For Rhino campaign at his school. “My Dad and I both chose the rhino as our favourite animal. We wondered how sad it would be if they were extinct by the time I became a dad.  I wanted to do something to help save the rhinos, so I started thinking about ways to raise money for the organisations who work to save these wonderful creatures.” Riley, with lots of help from mom, Meg, began selling cookies and popcorn at school to raise funds. Soon Riley had a great idea: creating a dice-type game called Rolling Rhinos. The game is played by rolling two little resin rhinos and scoring points depending on how the rhinos land, with the first player to score 100 points winning the game. Every part of the game is made locally in East London, creating local economic benefits too. The polyester resin rhinos are made in a local family-owned décor factory. The game inserts and labels are printed locally and even the bags are sewed by a local NPO using Shweshwe fabric, synonymous with the Eastern Cape. The games are sold for R100 each at markets and via the Rolling Rhinos Facebook Page, and for each game sold, R25 goes to rhino protection efforts. To date, Riley’s Rally For Rhinos has donated R8,300 to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation and R6,000...
Supporting EC’s Conservation Soldiers

Supporting EC’s Conservation Soldiers

To salute and support our brave conservation soldiers and show appreciation of their crucial role in the battle to save our rhino, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation in collaboration with RAGES (Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species), undertook a mission to collect bonus rations for the men of the Eastern Cape Rhino Anti-Poaching Units (APU). “Day and night these committed men and women remain the first line of defence for our Rhino. This sometimes thankless job that can go at times unnoticed requires an incredible amount of professionalism and passionate dedication from these Rhino Anti-Poaching Units (APU). Their actions ensure the safety of our wildlife in the large wilderness areas that they patrol, areas that are fraught with danger and often against a ruthless criminal element,” says Brent Cook, Founding Director of Chipembere Rhino Foundation. “An army marches on its stomach” said Napoleon Boneparte. The extra rations collected would go directly to the men in the Anti-Poaching Units on the front line at 5 local reserves and a national park, where they patrol 24-7, protecting our wildlife, to show them support, boost their morale and keep them marching towards victory. The campaign was launched on 8 April 2016, following a brutal assault on the Eastern Cape in the first four months of 2016, including the devastating Sibuya Game Reserve poaching in March that left Bingo and two rhino cows dead. This poaching incident was reminiscent of the Kariega Game Reserve poaching of Thandi, Themba and Bull no 84 in 2012. The community was, once again, rocked to its very core and the events had a demoralising effect on conservation efforts...
How a 14-year-old girl is saving our rhinos

How a 14-year-old girl is saving our rhinos

When Jules Murray recently addressed the World Youth Rhino Summit, the most amazing thing was not the R160, 000 she has raised to date for rhino conservation. The most amazing thing is that Jules was just 13 years old! This South African-born young lady has been living in Hong Kong for over nine years and recently returned to South Africa, attending DSG School in Grahamstown. Jules’ Save the Rhino journey started after hearing about the plight of the rhino, and deciding to do what she could to make a difference. So, on her 11th birthday, Jules skipped the traditional birthday party and instead asked her friends to join her in painting Save the Rhino pictures, which were auctioned, raising R30, 000. Jules donated the money to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), a local NGO dedicated to protecting and preserving the diminishing number of rhino in South Africa. CRF bought three radio tracking collars for rhinos in the Eastern Cape reserves. When Jules and her family later visited South Africa, the CRF team invited Jules to join them in the helicopter and to help collar the rhino. “The day had a huge impact on me. To be up close, and to see and touch these gentle giants was a truly humbling experience,” says Jules. “Meeting the CRF team was so inspiring; I knew I had to carry on doing what I could to raise money and awareness to save these beautiful creatures. So I started the JuMu Rhino Fund, determined to raise more money.” Jules then started selling rhino trinkets made by African children’s charities to generous Hong Kongers, raising...
Rhino’s Without Borders

Rhino’s Without Borders

Excerpt from Dereck Joubert, Chairman, Great Plains Foundation: It was very much like a blood moon as Beverly and I drove towards Duba Plains Camp and my mind toyed with the fact that for some rhinos it would literally be a blood moon. The red full moon was, in this case, setting before dawn as we mobilized; and somewhere in South Africa poachers were washing their hands after a hard night’s work, as they do most full moons now. This is exactly what happened in the second week of September this year shortly after a friend of mine, Markus Jenson, who owns land in South Africa, contacted me about his rhinos. We’d been debating whether he should sell his rhinos and fund some anti-poaching on his land or give them to us (you no doubt know my feelings on this). A few days after our discussion he called me and said that the night before on a wonderful full moon, he’d heard gunshots. Four of his rhinos were dead. I’ve always loved the full moon. It connects us to loved ones around the world, as we look up at the sky and know that they may be watching at the same time. Recently, however, I’ve come to loathe it. We mobilized and within days the Rhinos Without Borders team had captured all of his rhinos and moved them to a safe house in South Africa. Today, we were heading out to the airfield at dawn to help unload the first batch of 4 of the 15 we had rescued. By 8.30 am the dawn had long burned away under...
World’s top surfers help guard endangered rhinos

World’s top surfers help guard endangered rhinos

On a lay day during the recent 2015 J-Bay Open, Stop No. 6 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), top surfers Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion from the US and Australian WSL Title Contender Owen Wright, joined renowned wildlife veterinarian Dr William Fowlds and the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) on a special operation to dart and fit a tracking collar to the leg of a threatened white rhino. Exposing these top athletes to the vital tracking components applied in protecting this iconic species allows them to share in some of the work that the Chipembere team and those under the rhino conservation are doing to better protect rhinos from poachers. Approximately 4,800 black rhino are left and are classified as critically endangered, while the 20,000 remaining Southern white rhino are classified as near-threatened. Even so, poaching levels have reached crisis point. “We are losing three rhinos a day in South Africa, and thousands each year,” said Dr Fowlds. “It’s a catastrophe. We need to tell the world what the poachers are doing to these animals.” “There is such a staggering rate of decline in rhino numbers,” commented Slater. “I just don’t understand how anyone could do such things to these amazing animals. It was a privilege to assist the CRF team members, who have dedicated their lives to protecting the rhinos they love so much.” “It’s hard to understand why the poachers are actually doing this. It’s senseless,” said Owen. “To be part of the process of placing the bracelet around the rhino’s foot and the microchip in its nose was amazing. It...

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