Wild Rhino Competition
In April 2014 the Wilderness Foundation partnered with two Vietnamese singers, Thu Minh and Thanh Bui, who were brought to South Africa and given an in depth briefing on the rhino situation as well as being involved in a rhino darting exercise. The end result of this exercise was the production of a campaign developed in partnership with Wild Aid in Vietnam.
Through this visit and in an attempt to maximise the momentum created, the Wild Rhino Competition project, aimed at the Vietnamese Youth, was conceptualized.
In October 2014 the Wild Rhino Competition was launched in Vietnam with 12 International Schools from Ho Chi Minh City participating. Through an essay competition 22 Vietnamese Youth were chosen and travelled to South Africa in June 2015. The youth were taken on a 5 day traditional wilderness trail, and also interacted with the rhino calves in the bomas orphaned as a result of poaching. A workshop was also done with these students to expose them to the full extent of rhino poaching as well as wildlife crime and other challenges facing conservation in general.
The Wild Rhino Competition was hugely successful and resulted in 22 passionate Youth Ambassadors who developed a range of ideas for on ground activities they would like to implement in Vietnam in an effort to reduce the demand for rhino horn in their home country. Wilderness Foundation Africa, in partnership with Peace Parks Foundation and SMPPA has since launched a Demand Reduction campaign in Vietnam, working closely with the 22 Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors.
The second round of the Wild Rhino Competition was launched in Vietnam in November 2016 and the closing date is 31 January 2017.