Category : Giving Back

The Deadly Price of Trade in Rhino Horn

There is a brutal irony to game ranger, Anton Mzimba, being gunned down a mere five days before ‘celebrating’ World Ranger Day on 31 July. In an ideal world, rangers would only be required to conserve and nurture wildlife, rather than protect it. But the reality of South Africa’s illegal rhino horn trade is that it is deadly, lucrative, well-organised and international. Indeed, the long and complex rhino horn ‘value chain’ makes it one of the most profitable for local and Asian criminal cartels. Anton was brazenly gunned down in his home, (rather than in the bush) with his wife also being shot and critically injured in the assault. Anton’s murder brings to 295 the total number of rangers murdered in Africa since 2011. Clearly, this brazen attack was intended to send out a clear signal to game rangers and all those engaged in wildlife conservation, that they are not safe from these brutal gangs, even in their own homes. Indeed, 2022 has already set a record for ranger deaths. Inevitably, these losses will deepen the vulnerability of endangered species and set back conservation for years. But the impact will be felt far wider.

The conventional view is that rhino poachers are feeding a quirky habit of Asian consumers. For centuries people in Asia and the Middle East have coveted rhino horn for its alleged properties. In Yemen, rhino horn has been used to adorn weapons. In China, rhino horn has had multiple uses, ranging from ornaments, jewellery, cups and paperweights. But the most widespread abuse of rhino horn is in its completely fallacious use for medicinal purposes. In countries ranging from Vietnam, Korea and Malaysia to India and China, rhino horn is shaved, ground, powdered, boiled, swallowed, drunk and sniffed as a putative palliative to conditions ranging from snake bites, hallucinations, vomiting, devil possession, typhoid and food poisoning. Yet there is zero evidence that rhino horn in any form contains any pharmaceutical properties whatsoever – none.

Perhaps the greatest myth is that rhino horn is an aphrodisiac. Ground rhino powder has become the aphrodisiac of choice for exotic parties of Asia’s high-rollers, somewhat akin to the cocaine-filled debauchery of the stock exchange boom times of 1980s and 1990s. Given that rhino horn is principally made up of keratin (the protein that makes up hair and nails), it has no aphrodisiacal properties. Perhaps an effective antidote to this myth would be for Asian government health authorities to conduct a series of scientifically-controlled and peer reviewed public experiments among the limp and randy males of the region to identify the pharmaceutical properties of rhino horn, versus small blue pills and placebos.

But of course, this won’t happen. The illicit trade in rhino horn is far too lucrative to allow a small issue such as the truth to emerge. At US$20,000 per kilogramme, African rhino horn represents a relatively accessible, replenishable and globally traded commodity that provides terrorists, mafia, organised crime, corrupt officials, diplomats and government figures a lucrative income at the expense, not only of our iconic species, but at the cost of the lives of heroes such as Anton Mzimba.

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Appleton Mandela Day

APPLETON SUPPORTS LOFOB AND LEARNS FROM OUR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED FRIENDS

Appleton shared a special and memorable Mandela Day on Monday 18 July with the League of the Friends of the Blind (LOFOB). Established almost a century ago, LOFOB provides educational, vocational, occupation and rehabilitation services to blind and partially sighted people. The youngest LOFOB clients are of pre-school age and the most senior are pensioners. Appleton directors and staff were taken through their paces learning how brail is typed, how games are played, how domestic work is carried out and learning to navigate our way with walking canes. The personal testimonies of bravery and stoicism were inspirational.

The Spirit Community Foundation supports LOFOB in ways designed to materially enhance the quality of life of the clients and Appleton was privileged to play its part in supporting these wonderful people on a very special Mandela Day.

Appleton commits to continue supporting LOFOB.

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Warwick Mandela Day

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

In honour of Madiba, our Warwick Gqeberha team worked vigorously and tirelessly at the Animal Welfare Society in Victoria drive on Monday 18th July.  The team took the time to prepare an area set aside for the AWS’ newest project; a weekly learnership programme for kids from the surrounding communities. The objective is to educate the children on how to treat and care for their animals.  The aim is to eradicate some of the problems faced by AWS through educating the youth.

A big thank you to City Paint and Tool who generously donated paint to this project!

We will continue to change our city through the most powerful tool – educating the youth.

If you wish to donate any unused leads, collars, dog bowls, blankets etc. please feel free to drop them off at our new Warwick Wealth offices:

Warwick Wealth

The waterfront business park

Building 5, Unit 4

Humewood

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Cadiz Mandela Day

I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wilderness. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment – Nelson Mandela.

These inspiring words led our Cadiz team to spend 67 minutes on Monday, 18 July 2022, at the Upper Liesbeek River Garden (ULRG) planting two trees in honour of Madiba, celebrating and giving back to our community for Mandela Day. Supported by Spirit Community Foundation, this River Garden was established many years ago and has been an ongoing project for the last eighteen years under the guidance and maintenance of Dr Joan Parker and her team.

The garden is being maintained for communities and families to enjoy themselves in this natural environment and to picnic as there are sufficient areas with handmade wooden tables and chairs as well as benches randomly placed throughout the garden. The river itself is pristine, allowing for children to play in it during the summer months.

We are honoured to have been given this opportunity to support the Upper Liesbeek River Garden, to raise awareness and help maintain this amazing place befitting of Madiba.

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The Spirit Foundation

The Spirit Foundation proudly supports The Big Issue. The Big Issue, is an organization that supports the homeless, marginalized and unemployed people in Cape Town to earn a living. It encourages each vendor to generate their own income by them using their skills to sell products and build a life for themselves and their families. #givingback 

www.bigissue.org.za

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Spirit Foundation

The Spirit Foundation proudly supports Hannah’s Place Safety.  Hannah’s Place of Safety is named after the owner’s Janine and Dion Fabe’s  daughter Hannah who was adopted at birth. HPS  now render services to various departments of Social Development for babies 0-1 years old in need of care and protection.  #givingback

https://www.hannahsplaceofsafety.org

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Spirit Foundation

The Spirit Foundation proudly supports The Big Issue. The Big Issue, is an organization that supports the homeless, marginalized and unemployed people in Cape Town to earn a living. It encourages each vendor to generate their own income by them using their skills to sell products and build a life for themselves and their families. #givingback 

www.bigissue.org.za

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Spirit Foundation

The Spirit Foundation proudly supports The League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB), which is a Non-Governmental Organisation which caters to the needs of blind and visually impaired individuals. We work to further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for Education and Decent Work.  The Organisation is based in Grassy Park, Western Cape, they have been in operation since 1933 and have assisted in providing independence development services to thousands of individuals from all over South Africa and across the African continent.

#giving back

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