Worldwide Experience, the education arm of the award winning Mantis group, has been working with Digital Explorer, a social enterprise that generates educational materials.
Together they have created an educative programme and competition to be rolled out in schools across the United Kingdom in September 2013.
Mantis is a family-owned business with roots in Southern African conservation, and this programme is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Africa’s wild nature – specifically concentrating on the plight of Southern Africa’s rhino populations.
Endorsed by adventurer and television personality, Bear Grylls, the programme will feature a short series of lessons on conservation suitable for GCSE and A level students to bring the serious issue of rhino conservation to the classroom.
Teachers in the United Kingdom will have the opportunity to teach students three lessons about rhinos and conservation followed by a module on how to create a two minute video to enter into the Voices of Conservation competition.
Targeted at 16–19-year-olds, the project invites teams of two to six teenagers across the United Kingdom to submit a short film explaining what they would do to curb the increase in poaching of Southern Africa’s rhino population.
Winners of the competition will win the chance to visit and take part in a conservation project in Southern Africa.
Southern Africa has been gripped by a massive surge in rhino poaching in recent years. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached.
In 2013 it is estimated that 900 rhinos will be poached with almost three rhinos being killed every day. Rhinos are poached for their horns which, according to some South East Asian countries, have healing capabilities and other medicinal uses and values.
Modern science has, however, proved that the horn carries absolutely no medicinal value and is, in fact, made up of the same protein, keratin, which is found in human fingernails.
Yet the demand for the product continues to increase.
Current international debate aimed at bringing an end to poaching include; legalising the rhino horn trade, dehorning rhinos, stricter law enforcement, decreasing demand through bans (it is illegal to trade in rhino horn through rules stipulated by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) or education, and an improved consolidated and collaborative approach by all stakeholders, the situation is becoming more critical by the day.
Mantis and Worldwide Experience are dedicated to educating the youth of today about the critical situation some of Africa’s wildlife populations are facing, and to start a dialogue about how we can prevent the brutal attacks on this wildlife.
With a history in conservation, and as a company who operates in these areas, Mantis feels a responsibility to start these conversations and help play a role in the protection of this iconic African species.