Youth Rhino summit Vietnamese delegation

1,000,000 Footprints hosts the Youth Rhino summit Vietnamese delegation

Under the auspices of the United States Government, Children4Conservation, Dance to be Wild and OMG (One More Generation) hosted the Vietnamese delegation on their Johannesburg stopover, before returning to Vietnam, on Saturday, 27th September.

These children represented Vietnam at the World Youth Rhino Summit in KwaZulu Natal, held at the iMfolozi Game Reserve on the 22nd and 23rd September 2014. This historical summit brought together children, not only from South Africa and other African countries, but also from Asia where the demand for animal parts is one of the greatest factors contributing to the decimation of Africa’s wildlife resources.

Going into the conference I had no idea if the Vietnamese kids knew about the dangers that face our wildlife, but after talking to them and sharing experiences and ideas I realized what amazing, intelligent kids they are and that they have a broad knowledge about wildlife. I met six extraordinary kids with the same passion for wildlife and conservation as I have. They were especially concerned about our rhinos and said that they wish they could change the mindset of the adults who use rhino horn as medicine.

Nadav Ossendryer, founder of Latest Sightings, and Chris Daniels from Bongi’s Quest were guest speakers at the conference. Both highlighted the fact that our wildlife play an extremely important part in the future of our youth. Hundreds of thousands of people travel to Africa to see our wildlife, thousands more log into to social media to see videos and photos of our BIG 5 and other wildlife. Most African countries rely on tourism for their survival.

I have kept in contact with these awesome kids and many of them have returned home as ambassadors for our wildlife. They have shared what they have learned with their teachers, classmates and families and have started their own little campaigns to raise awareness.

The youth CAN make a difference by sharing our knowledge and creating a global awareness as many who use rhino horn and buy ivory are not aware of the poaching of our rhinos and elephants to supply this market.

Monique Theron


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