Saving the rhino is all about a global effort. Everyone can do their part, no matter their age, financial position or education. This was proven by eight year old twins, Eli and Joshua Simms, who chose to use their ninth birthday party as a fundraising and awareness event in aid of rhinos.
The boys, with assistance from their mom Christa, contacted the Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Rhino Protection initiative in early February this year to ask if they could make a donation towards the cause. “We were just blown away by the boys’ generosity,” says Christine Roets of Forever Wild. “It is so wonderful to see young kids taking up a cause, and encouraging their friends to be a part of the solution to rhino poaching.”
The party invitations included requests for donations, small or large, towards Forever Wild. The boys drew creative posters stating “Red die Renoster” which means “Save the Rhino” in Afrikaans. Each party pack also included a little wooden rhino nametag as a reminder to the guests to continue to support the cause.
“From a very early age I have taught my boys the principal of sowing into the world,” says Christa Simms. “Through the generous donations of their friends, they raised R1300 for the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative. They really did their part and told their friends about all their ideas on how they are planning on doing things for others! The boys also decided to give 10% of their birthday money on top of the donations, so in total they raised R1650.”
The Forever Wild team was so impressed by the boys’ enthusiasm and passion for the cause, that they donated 20 iThemba story books for all the kids at the party. They also send through information pamphlets which the twins handed out to their friends at the event.
“We all had such fun and I really do think that both the parents and the children saw the important role we play in the help against Rhino poaching!” says Christa.