Monday, September 16, 2013

How Soccer is Saving Elephants, Rhinos & Other Endangered Species

The clock strikes 4:00 pm and the bell rings – signaling the end of classes and the beginning of playtime at Tigithi Secondary School in Laikipia County, Kenya.  Almost immediately, 150 boys and girls rush out of their classrooms to enjoy a game of football on the school’s pitch. What’s unique is that these young energetic students are playing with the nearly indestructible One World Futbols sponsored by Chevrolet. These balls were donated to the school back in February.

The rate of poaching in Kenya has nearly doubled in the past 24 months. Poaching has become such a serious problem in East Africa that in 2011 alone Ol Pejeta lost five of our 88 rhinos to poachers – our greatest loss in 20 years.  Elephants and rhinos are on top of the endangered species list, being slaughtered for their tusks and horns respectively. Unfortunately, some local villagers are being lured into the illegal killing of these animals in exchange for large sums of cash.  These products are then smuggled through well-connected middlemen and find their way to Asia where the market is rife.2013 through a partnership between One World Futbol Project and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy – a non-profit wildlife conservancy in Kenya supporting endangered species, tourism and community outreach.

The Conservancy is using soccer and these ultra-durable balls to engage youth living close to wildlife.  Through soccer, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is teaching students about the troubles poaching causes and giving the community at large a greater sense of the importance of conservation.

- More Here

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