An aware, literate community first bulwark against rhino poaching
Save the Rhino Trust has just received more than one million dollars in funding from the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation. This diamond money will be used to support physical protection of rhinos in the wild, but also to amplify a reading programme for learners in the Kunene region.
While law enforcement is important as the primary deterrent to poaching, the Trust said it has learned over the years that long-term perceptions of the value of rhinos for local communities, is just as important and provides a more lasting positive impact.
To build positive opinions of rhinos among local communities, Save the Rhino Trust is partnering with Mondesa Youth Opportunities, an NGO who helps Kunene learners to develop and improve their reading skills. In this way, many supplementary learning opportunities are provided to the learners. Mondesa Youth covers numerous subjects but an enhanced level of reading ability is specifically promoted to improve general literacy.
Save the Rhino Trust’s Chief Executive, Simson Uri-Khob said “Both the Trust and Mondesa Youth have blazed new trails in their respective fields and together we seek to address two looming threats to both the rural people and an iconic Namibian treasure such as the black rhino. The donation from the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation will address low literacy rates among the region’s youth as well as the persistent threat that poaching holds for the region’s globally important black rhino population.”