Friday, 28 December 2012

VA32 launch Rhino Ambassador Stewardship Project (RASP)

The latest addition to the Volunteer Africa project base addresses a very real threat to South Africa’s conservation efforts and the world’s population of rhino. In the two articles which preceded this one I explained how the rhino is facing extinction in South Africa due to poachers and what you can do to help fight this problem.

In this final article VA32 offers an opportunity to be physically involved in conservation work which supports the efforts of anti-poaching organisations in South Africa. This opportunity is a break-away from what has become the norm in volunteer programs and puts the onus on the volunteer to continue their work and raise awareness of the plight of the rhino after leaving the physical aspect of the project in South Africa.


The Project contains three elements:

Knowledge – Learn about the rhino and its habitat
Participants will complete 10 hours of theory around the rhino species, environment, dangers faced by poaching and anti-poaching agencies.

Fieldwork – Work with our conservationist to achieve physical aims in rhino conservation
60 hours of fieldwork will be put in to support the objectives of the conservation team in the reserve. Examples of tasks included: rhino monitoring and data collection, land management and rehabilitation work and fence patrols and maintenance. This list is in no way exhaustive and volunteers must be prepared for a range of hands-on tasks which support the aims of the conservation team.

Contribution – Become an ambassador
Participants must raise a minimum of $400.00 to be donated directly to the WESSA Rhino Fund. They must also be involved in actively spreading awareness of the plight of the rhino and what can be done to help via social media and communications channels. 

All three elements of the project must be completed to reach Ambassador Status. Participants will be equipped with all educational material and a “Contribution Toolkit” to ensure that the aims of the project are fully understood and achievable.

A short animated film put together by film students in
South Africa for WESSA commenting on
the poaching of animals through human history…
Romancing the Rhino

As well as making a big personal contribution towards saving the rhino this is an opportunity to learn about South African environment and ecosystems, rhino conservation and animal poaching and is also an opportunity for personal growth in knowledge and experience in conservation. The projects’ reliance on participants carrying their new knowledge and enthusiasm on after their time in South Africa means that self-motivation is highly important in this project.

With over 75% of the entire world population of Rhino living in South Africa and one rhino being killed for its horn every 20 hours, we really do need as many people as possible to back this kind of work now.

To apply to take part in the Rhino Ambassador Stewardship Project visit our website or email Please note that participants will complete tasks to support rhino conservation aims, they will not deal directly with anti-poaching tasks – this is an extremely skilled, dangerous and specialist area of work.


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