RCB’s good friend, Angie Rawlinson, is planning an incredible journey to help raise awareness and funds for rhino conservation. We’re incredibly grateful to Angie for her endless support. Please read her inspiring story and find out how Rafi, our hitchhiking rhino, has traveled the world and made some celebrity friends.
Hi. My name is Angie Rawlinson and I have lived in and around Maun, Botswana, for the past 30 years. I work in the tourism industry and my husband and I currently own a camp that borders Makgadikgadi National Park.
My family and I have a good life here in Botswana, so I feel the need to give something back to the community and environment we live in. My life is busy, what with having three kids and running a business, but I get involved in as much fundraising and volunteer work as I can.
On my first trip to Botswana in 1986 I saw a rhino and calf and thought that was normal. Shockingly, in 30 years, I have not seen another rhino roaming freely outside a sanctuary! I've been shocked by how little tourists, and even some of the local people, know about the rhinos’ plight. People don’t even realise that rhinos are facing extinction – or why.
So, 18 months ago, I started my own rhino conservation awareness project. I named a plush rhino Rafi and sent him hitchhiking around the world to raise awareness of rhino conservation, especially among kids and young adults.
Rafi carries a backpack that was specially made for him. In it is a short story written by Map Ives, Director of RCB and rhino co-ordinator of Botswana. Everyone Rafi meets is invited to read the story and pass on the message. His hosts post pictures of his travels on his Facebook page, Rafi The Rhino’s World Wild Awareness Tour.
Watch Rafi get his big break on the Sunrise Breakfast Show on Channel 7 in Australia with presenter Simon Reeve here.
Last month, I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something extraordinary – to hike to Everest Base Camp from 3–15 April 2017. It's been a dream of mine to take on this challenge for years, but I never thought I would actually get the opportunity.
Since Rafi will be accompanying me, I thought it the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Rhino Conservation Botswana. I’m covering the full cost of the trip myself, so any money raised will go directly to charity.
I am appealing to anyone who loves rhinos to donate towards my charity hike in aid of Rhino Conservation Botswana – and help protect our rhinos.
When donating, please write “Angie’s hike” when asked where you heard about RCB so we can let Angie know how much she helped us to raise, thank you.
Please support Angie’s incredible efforts to help us protect Botswana’s rhinos better. Follow and share Rafi’s story on Facebook and Instagram or donate whatever you can. Every penny will go to rhino conservation. Thank you from the rhinos.