Kings’ School Al Barsha have begun a pioneering three year educational and sponsorship programme to help save the critically endangered Rhino population in South Africa from a near threat of extinction. They are the first school in the world to sign a three-year sponsorship arrangement with Rhino Revolution South Africa, to sponsor an orphaned rhino calf at the newly constructed Rhino Revolution Orphanage in South Africa, from arrival through to re-introduction to the wild. Rallying students, teachers and parents together, Kings’ School Al Barsha have committed to helping the plight of the African Rhino by sponsoring the first calf to enter the facility.
The rhino-poaching crisis has now reached a tipping point in South Africa, with 1,215 rhinos poached in 2014. On average one rhino is killed every seven hours, which is set to push the species into extinction in the next five years. Adult rhinos are poached for their horn, which is worth more than any other commodity in the world; about $65,000 per kg. It is used to supply a demand in the Far East where it is believed Rhino horn is a medicinal and traditional cure to many illnesses. Rhino horn is made up of keratin, the same compound as our hair and fingernails, so a rhino horn is nothing more than a giant fingernail growing above the nostrils of a rhino.
Kings’ School Al Barsha heard of this alarming plight through Rhino Revolution’s Dubai awareness campaign driven by parent, conservationist and Rhino Revolution’s Dubai manager Patsy Stagman, “This has come at a crucial time in the Rhino crisis, Kings’ School Al Barsha is not just saving one animal, they are educating the next generation of conservationists. The orphanage in South Africa is near completion and will soon be ready to receive its first calf.”
Headteacher Bill Turner said, “We are honoured and privileged to be part of this revolution. We view this as a vehicle for teaching and learning about how to conserve a place for both people and animals. It will involve everyone at the school and traverse all curriculums. Our aim is for this to leave a legacy long after we have all left the school. We plan for us to have a long lasting relationship with the orphanage.”
Head of Department John Pugh said “We are so excited to be part of this revolution. We will be choosing a name for the calf and monitoring its progress through a CCTV camera set up in its pen which will be played on a monitor in our cafeteria. The students and staff are just so excited.”
Kings’ School Al Barsha, supported by Rhino Revolution, is holding a Rhino Awareness Day on the 26th March to involve all staff and students for a day of conservation based activities and awareness campaigns spanning the whole curriculum. Rhino Revolution CEO Chris Martin will be visiting from Hoedspruit South Africa to launch the partnership with Kings’ School Al Barsha.
About Kings’ School Al Barsha
Building on the success and outstanding reputation of our founding school Kings’ School Dubai in Umm Suqeim, Kings’ School Al Barsha opened its doors to over 650 students in September 2014. Currently offering fantastic learning opportunities for children from early years up to and including Year 9, growing up to Year 13. Like all the Kings’ Schools, Al Barsha has an impressive range of facilities and offers the English national curriculum with an international perspective.