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Check out Empowers Africa's "Year Of The Rhino" newsletter for a recap of our January 23rd event featuring the Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, as well as a new virtual reality video of the Sanctuary! Look out for information regarding our April, 20 2017 gala event honoring the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit. Also included, are latest grant announcements and exciting projects supporting rhino conservation!
On January 23rd in New York City, Empowers Africa hosted an event featuring presentations by founder and co-founder of the Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, Petronel Nieuwoudt and Chris de Bruno Austin. They were also joined by Disunity filmmakers Morgan Pelt and Garth de Bruno Austin. 

Pictured above from left: Nicole McLachlan, Garth de Bruno Austin, Paula Franklin, Morgan Pelt, Krista Krieger, Petronel Nieuwoudt and Chris de Bruno Austin. 
On January 23rd, 2017 Empowers Africa hosted an event with the team from Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, the world's largest rhino orphanage. The dedicated team from Care for Wild was joined by the producers of Disunity, a documentary film addressing the controversial issue of the trade of rhino horn. The evening featured heartfelt and insightful presentations from founder and co-founder of the Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, Petronel Nieuwoudt and Chris de Bruno Austin as well as Disunity filmmakers, Morgan Pelt and Garth de Bruno Austin. The discussion that followed provided insight into the hard work that goes into saving these creatures, as well as the Sanctuary's most pressing needs to continue their efforts. The Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary aims to develop the existing rehabilitation center into a secure stronghold which will eventually accommodate a viable breeding population of both white and black rhino. It is the ultimate goal of the Sanctuary to aid in the process of re-maximizing the rhino population with the intention of preserving the species for future generations. 
 
Last October, the Empowers Africa team had the privilege to visit the Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary in South Africa. A team of specialized staff, veterinary doctors, volunteers and management team members work at the wildlife care and rehabilitation centre to provide the necessary rescue, support, maintenance and supervision that young orphan rhinos require. Empowers Africa was also proud to facilitate two grants from charitable donors to Care For Wild in December to help support their ongoing efforts to save rhinos and other endangered species. 

The Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary plays a critical role in the conservation of South Africa's rhinos and we were honored to highlight their efforts at this event. 
 
To learn more about Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, please visit www.careforwild.co.za
To see more pictures of the Care for Wild Africa fundraising event please click here
To see more pictures of the Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, please click here.
 
Photo Credit: Rachel Rebibo 
Photo Credit: Black Bean Productions 
We are incredibly excited to announce our collaborative project with Black Bean Productions: A virtual reality experience offering a 360° view of the Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary. This incredible project allows viewers to experience daily life at the world's largest rhino orphanage. 

To watch the  video, please click here.

To view the video in its intended original format, please
1. Download the mobile app Go VR.
2. Click on "Play URL." 
3. Enter this URL into the pop-up bar.
4. Click on 360 Mode in the top left corner of the screen.
5. Use a pair of Virtual Reality Goggles and move your head around to see the full experience. 
This year’s gala event will be held on April 20, 2017 at The Explorers Club in New York City. The evening will focus on the inspiring women who work tirelessly to protect South Africa’s rhinos and other species from an increasingly sophisticated poaching threat. Our guests of honor are Black Mamba field rangers, Leitah Mkhebela and Belinda Mzimba, as well as the founder of the Black Mamba APU and Head Warden of the Balule Nature Reserve, Craig Spencer. The Black Mambas have been singular in their efforts to challenge the continued poaching crisis as well as gender norms. Empowers Africa is thrilled to announce that Town & Country Magazine will be the media sponsor for our 2017 annual event honoring the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit. We greatly look forward to recognizing the Mambas' important work at this year’s event!

To see more pictures of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, please click here.
RSVP HERE
Photo Credit: Black Bean Productions 
Empowers Africa was able to award a number of grants in 2016 to support rhino conservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Our most recent grant recipients include: 

*Care For Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary
*Wilderness Wildlife Trust 
Rhino horn has recently been valued at anywhere between $65,000 and $90,000 per kg. Although it is the same composition as our fingernails, many buyers of rhino horn believe it to hold medicinal healing properties and thus the price and demand for it on the black market has spiked, making it more valuable than gold. If the poaching of rhinos continues at its current rate, the species will be extinct within the next 20 years. 

To help aid the situation, the Botswana Defense Force and National Parks (DWNP) joined forces with Wilderness Safaris to create the Rhino Reintroduction and Monitoring Project in Botswana, which has had incredible success since inception in 2001. Through collaborative conservation efforts between Wilderness Safaris, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the Botswana Government, there have been numerous successful reintroductions of black and white rhino into the Okavango Delta, with the largest ever cross-border translocation of Critically Endangered black rhino taking place in 2015. 

The budget to move one rhino is a staggering $45,000 and the project relies on generous donations from passionate individuals. Empowers Africa is proud to facilitate a grant from such donors who were moved by the plight of this incredible species. Their donations will be used toward the relocation of rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to guarded and protected areas in neighboring Botswana. Specifically, the donations will aid with various expenses including: rhino capture operations, quarantine care costs, veterinary fees, armed security protection during pre-release and electronic tracking devices for post-release security and monitoring. We are grateful to programs like the Botswana Rhino Reintroduction and Monitoring Project and to rhino enthusiasts for their incredible acts of charity.

To learn more about this exciting initiative, please click here.

The KwaZulu-Natal region has one of the most severe poaching problems in South Africa. Snaring of bushmeat and the poaching of rhino for the illegal horn trade are primarily responsible for this threat. High unemployment rates and systemic poverty within the region further exacerbate the poaching crisis, with reserves currently averaging a loss of more than three rhinos per week. Wildlife ACT’s new initiative, Project Rhino KZN, is aimed at promoting increased education and awareness strategies in local schools.

The kids camp program is designed to instill an understanding of and passion for nature conservation in young people. To date, Wildlife ACT has run 59 camps, engaging with 1,514 kids and 122 adults. The project has been shown to positively impact the children who attend the camps, with local high schools noting a significantly greater uptake in students pursuing natural science and tourism electives. 

Wildlife ACT’s stated mission is to advance endangered and vulnerable species conservation in South Africa through effective monitoring of existing wildlife populations to provide adequate management, capture, transport and release of individuals into new areas. They also understand that there is a need to directly address the underlying economic drivers of poaching. Project Rhino KZN encourages community members to develop a passion for nature and to become stewards of their environment.  This crucial initiative equips students with a better understanding of why and how to protect endangered species for future economic development and employment opportunities. 

To learn more about Wildlife Act, please click here

Empowers Africa is incredibly proud of this collaborative video with Black Bean Productions, which has been selected by National Geographic for their Short Film Showcase. The Short Film Showcase is a unique platform that aims to spotlight exceptional short videos from content makers around the world. Videos are selected based on their commitment to furthering National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. 

This video details the process of dehorning a rhino. Conservationists describe this process as a preventative measure - one that is by no means an ideal solution, but may prove critical in saving the species. 

To watch the video, please click here
Would you like to contribute to the projects we support? You can donate by using your credit card or Paypal account on our secure website portal. Click here to go to our donation page now. For memorials, honorariums, large gifts or donations with opportunities for corporate matching, please contact us at info@empowersafrica.org.

                                                       
Copyright © 2017 Empowers Africa, All rights reserved.


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