Monthly News Edition 04-14
Bulletin #04 February 2014.
You are all invited to contribute and become authors and we are looking for an editor. John Glassford will be the editor until someone takes over the position. We are looking for critique, ideas and suggestions for the monthly news.
1. CHAIR REPORT
We have been very busy lately with all manner of things Rotary and my work as a builder of straw bale homes. I have done my best to keep you informed via email and the Facebook pages as well as here on this web site. I will also do my best to produce a newsletter as often as I can, to have as a permanent record of some of the items posted and discussed via social media.
On a positive note our application to become a Rotarian Action Group has been re-submitted to Rotary International in Evanston for the Rotarian Action Group committee to evaluate for the Rotary International board meeting in May. My thanks go to Jesse Davis from HQ in Evanston for his advice and patience with our application. Let us hope that the RAG Committee sends it on to the RI Board.
In this news bulletin I will cover a number of areas that concern endangered species and at this stage of our development I would like to concentrate on two projects only:
1. Save Our Rhino a project of the Rotary Club of Kenton-on-Sea Port Elizabeth South Africa.
2. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
I do not often share some of the more gruesome photos and stories that I come across on Facebook or when I search Google. However this story and very upsetting photograph came though on the 28th February via Facebook. It has made me very angry and upsetting though it is, I have decided to share it with you here. It is nothing new to the team at Chipembere for Brent Cook, nor Dr. William Fowlds, or our own Jo Wilmot one of our board members.
I am asking you to react in whatever way you see fit and I have a few ideas and will work on them once I have cooled down. This story of this rhino and that of Thandi must be told no matter how shocking the image is. I have written about Thandi in previous news letters and posts. Dr Fowlds, Brent Cook and the other soldiers on the ground have my immense respect for the work that they are doing. Remember this has only just taken place:
28/2/2014: “3 km from the Phabeni gate inside the Kruger National Park, this rhino came to us this afternoon for help!!! We are speechless and furious!!!!!” Frans Lombard Cape Town on Facebook.
2 March 2014 UPDATE… We’ve had unconfirmed reports that that this rhino was euthanised. From the injuries in this photo that does look like the only likely outcome. What an awful job the park vets do wonderfully well. We’ll confirm when we hear.
Enough said we have to take ACTION!
2. RAGES MEMBER’S ACTIVITIES LATEST NEWS
News from Jo Wilmot and the Chipembere Rhino Foundation,top work and well done all round. We will get there one day soon I hope and support you all from all our members as we progress.
Here is the latest news from Jo Wilmot and Jo has sent us a full account of what the Chipembere Rhino Foundation do for the rhino and how it all came about. Brent Cool was the founder and his story is attached in a pdf file for you to down load and share with the members of your club.
Founder of Chipembere Rhino Foundation Brent Cook.
Brent Cook fitting a tracking collar to a darted rhino.
Your club can sponsor a tracking collar for US$250. A full list of equipment required for these rhino warriors that are needed can be found on the link below:
3. MEET OUR MEMBERS
We have been going since July 2013 and I have been asked to say something about myself.
The Straw Wolf aka John Glassford, is a straw bale house builder living in a remote rural Australian town Ganmain NSW. John was born and raised in Kenya, East Africa, until about the age of 21 when he left for Scotland and and went to Edinburgh University. John and his young family migrated to Australia in 1968. John and his second wife Susan are now finally settled in the West of New South Wales, Australia and has dedicated the rest of his life to educating the AIDS orphans of Africa. Especially those from his home town of Nairobi in Kenya and to provide them with shelter, food, education and clean water. All the things that Rotary International does so well as a team of well organised dedicated women and men the world over.
John has been instrumental in raising awareness of the situation of the orphans of Africa due to one or both of their parents dying from HIV/AIDS. There are now around 22 million orphans as a result of this pandemic with no end insight. UNAIDS estimates that there will be 25 million orphans in Africa by the end of 2015. Some non government agencies/bodies involved in the AIDS pandemic believe that the figure will be much higher than 25 million throughout the African continent.
It was Stephen Lewis the former UN Special Envoy to Africa for HIV/AIDS through his video Race Against Time that first alerted John to the situation in Africa. John and Susan have now been back “home” to Africa with 3 visits in the past 4 years and with many more to come.
John has a string of successful international fund raising projects under his belt that he has seen from conception to finish, with the Kili 28/8 project which raised in excess of $78,000 for the children of Africa. There is much more to be done and the Orphan Rescue Kits will be just one of the many projects you can support.
To date we have raised around $250,000 for Africa including the Mount Kilimanjaro Climb, one major raffle and the work done by Past District Governor Fred Loneragan in District 9700 with the Orphan Rescue Kits. This sum of monies also includes matching grants from the Rotary Foundation.
Lately John has become a very angry older citizen and wants to do as much as is possible to save the rhino and elephant from extinction.
N.B. I want to see if there is a way that we can combine the education of orphans and the work that we must do for endangered species.
The last visit to Africa was the Mountains of the Moon climb in November 2011.
Our next adventure is to climb Mount Kenya in April 2015.
Contact John Glassford. Email [email protected] or call 61 2 6927 6027.
4. LATEST ELEPHANT NEWS
A wonderful sight!
Scenes like these are so reminiscent of what old Africa would have been like. I found myself standing there and watching this massive herd of elephants crossing through a floodplain infront of Mombo Camp, and just imagining what it would have been like to stand there a hundred years before. Would it have been the same? Regardless to still have places where herds roam free like this is something we need to preserve for future generations.
Canon 400 2.8 IS L
1/1600, f5.0, ISO200
Shame on you Uganda!
February 28th 2014: In a shock decision that has sent alarm bells ringing across the globe, a high court judge in Uganda has ordered the return of 2.9 tonnes of impounded ivory to the ivory trafficking suspects.
This is despite the cargo entering the country fraudulently, having been declared as coffee, and the fact that any onward export would clearly be in stark contravention of international regulations under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Please sign & share. GET THE IVORY SHOPS IN HONG KONG CLOSED! But keep in mind the carvers will just send their carvings elsewhere. And keep repeating the ONE thing that will stop the trade Now! CHINA CLOSE YOUR CARVING FACTORIES!
China has gotten off almost scot free with its massive part in the elephant slaughter – elephants reduced to pieces by China’s 35 state sanctioned carving factories. ONLY a WorldWide Shout to close those factories will stop the ivory trade at its source and preserve the lives of the elephants who have not been killed yet. If the poachers and smugglers have no place to send their tusks, the death spiral stops.
In the meantime as advocates repeat ineffective sayings like “only elephants should wear ivory,” the poachers, smugglers and carvers are laughing all the way to the bank. There is finger pointing to the poachers, a difficult group to nail down. But that is not the case with China’s carving factories. They and their bloody work are there for all to see what they do, and it is up to us to insist that China close them.
Photo: On Wing Dept. Store
5. LATEST NEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE.
Dr. William Fowlds has a great blog and I would encourage you all to follow his blog.
6. NEWS FROM AFRICA
May I suggest that you all watch this video taken last Thursday February 27th. It is an interview done by Kenyan TV with Dr. Paula Kahumbu and her deputy Philip Mugo.
Hands off Our Elephants. Twitter page
7. TO PETITION OR NOT TO PETITION?
I would like to hear back from you on the reasons why petitions work or do they?
I am curious and feel it may just work and here is the idea I got from watching Paula Kahumbu in her interview on Kenyan TV last week.
If we feel it would make a difference maybe we could look at something like this:
Heading: Declare the Kenyan Elephants, Rhinos and Lions Treasures of Kenya and BURN the 100 tonnes of ivory in your care.
To: His Excellency the Honourable Uhuru Kenyatta C.G.H. President and C in C of the Republic of Kenya.
The time is now for Your Excellency to make history. By declaring the iconic Kenyan elephants, rhinos and lions as Treasures of Kenya, you will have the power to protect these treasures of Kenya for your children, grand children and beyond.
Then once we have the wording, simple and effective then we need The first Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, to be the first signatory to the petition. It would also be best if the petition originated in Kenya by Kenyans for Kenyans first and the rest of the concerned world second. What do you think?
Here is an example of a petition started by Leonardo de Caprio:
8. SOME LINKS OF INTEREST.
Last Monday night at a joint meeting with the Rotary Clubs of Coolamon and Wagga Wagga Sunrise we launched our Mount Kenya 2015 Climb. PDG Fred Loneragan and I gave a presentation on the adventure and today we launched the web site. Both Fred and I are looking at ways we can create a platform to include a fourth beneficiary for a RAGES projects. We are looking at the Orphans for Orphans project which involves the David Wildlife Trust for elephant orphans and for the orphans of Nairobi.
Please forgive our indulgence on this but we feel there is a symmetry in doing this. So have a look at the Mount Kenya 2015 web site below and let us know what you feel and better still send in your ideas:
9. FACEBOOK STORIES:
Who we are, what we do, what we achieved last year and what we can, and must, do to protect wildlife and wild places now and for the future – we’ll need your help. All of that and more in our 2013 Annual Newsletter:
Well we are at a point where we need to take action and soon. As Rotarains there is a lot we can do to make a difference. Brent Cook from teh Chipembere Rhino Foundation has written with Jo Wilmot from the Rotary Club of Kenton-on-Sea an excellent guide on how Rotary Clubs can help right now.
All we need are some clubs to take up the challenge and come up with some good activities that will create awareness and funds for the rhinos. I know that the Rotary Club of Hout Bay in Cape Town are having a presentation on Rages next week. This follows on the excellent presentation that PDG Barry Smith from the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs in Atlanta. Barry did the presentation to a joint meeting with Sandy Springs and the Rotary Club of Emory Druid Hills also from Atlanta. Thanks Barry.
Please ask me for a copy and I will send it to you via Dropbox, the file is 26 mbytes.
PDG Barry Smith in Atlanta.
In closing please get back to me at anytime with ideas and activities that you feel that you and your club can do to increase our membership and to start projects for our RAGES projects.
Thank you to all of you who have replied to my emails and for all the advice and help that I am getting from several of you on RAGES. I am positive that Rotary will approve our Action Group and I would like to think we could be in full flight by then. It is up to you all to get involved.
Maintain the RAGE!
Yours in Rotary
John Glassford Chair Proposed RAGES.
Email: [email protected]
61 2 6927 6027