I have always loved the beauty of wildlife. The complexity of the ecosystem, the biological difference in different species, and how every living organism is interconnected; independent yet dependent on others at the same time. South Africa, one of the largest Rhino paradises is now the major slaughterhouses for Rhino in the world, and shamefully, Vietnam ranks first on the Rhino horns purchase list higher than China. As youth, it is unfair that we have to be responsible for the damages adults caused in the past few decades, and it’s our generation’s turn to care.  Announce to the world that:

It is not too late to educate ourselves with the topic of environmental issues.

It is not too late to recognize the importance of ecosystems.

It is not too late to take action on the mission of environmental protection.

It is not too late to stop or reduce the purchase of Rhino horns.

Don’t wait until it is too late.  If the adults can’t take action on global issues, then it will be our chance. As youth, take initiative, we could do more than you expect, prove it to them”.

These are the words of a young Vietnamese student,  Lee Ming-Ching, written after being announced as one of the winners of the 2019 Wild Rhino competition. Increasingly, the next generation of decision-makers in Vietnam seek to learn more about, and speak up against, environmental crimes such as rhino poaching. The Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative – a collaboration between Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA), Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), Olsen Animal Trust (OAT) and SOUL Music & Performing Arts Academy (SOUL) in Vietnam – is providing these young people with educational and social platforms to do just that.

This week, Wilderness Foundation Africa announced the winners of the Wild Rhino Competition run in collaboration with 11 international schools in Ho Chi Minh City, and 3 international schools in Hanoi, Vietnam.  As part of their prize, 14 of the winners will soon be travelling to South Africa to experience rhino in their natural habitat.

The demand for rhino horn in Asian countries remains one of the main driving forces behind the escalation in poaching of rhinos in Southern Africa, with more than 80% of illegally trafficked rhino horn passing through Vietnam either for local use or for export to other countries, such as China.

In response to this, the Wild Rhino demand reduction campaign utilizes three separate yet cohesive components to educate and engage Vietnamese youth on the issue of rhino poaching. The overarching goal of these components, namely the Wild Rhino Competition, the Youth Ambassador Awareness and Education Campaign, and the Rhino Ranger Super Hero Campaign, is to incite passion for conservation, whilst motivating these young people not to use rhino horn. In addition, the youth are encouraged to assist in saving the rhino by becoming vocal ambassadors for the cause in their communities. The demand reduction campaign, has been active in 11 participating schools in Ho Chi Minh City since the launch of the first Wild Rhino Competition in 2014, and was extended to 3 schools in Hanoi this year. Through the full complement of engagements, Wild Rhino has reached about 25 000 Vietnamese youth directly, and nearly 1 million youth indirectly through campaign and youth ambassador social media activities.

This year’s Wild Rhino competition invited junior students to enter by submitting a poem or a picture. Senior students entered by submitting an essay in which they had to present innovative and practical ways in which  they could  educate their friends and family on how to end the demand for rhino horn.

Over 700 entries were received, with 29 junior winners and 14 senior winners announced.  The senior winners will visit South Africa in July 2019, where they will spend a week on wilderness walking trails in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HIP) to gain an understanding of the importance of rhino and the impact that poaching is having on them, followed by a workshop on the rhino poaching crisis facilitated by experts in conservation. This workshop equips the youngsters to return to Vietnam as dedicated ambassadors for the conservation and protection of rhino. In turn, the campaign partners take the opportunity to learn from the young people about their experience of the issues related to the use of rhino horn in their communities. The Vietnamese youth also share insights into social and scholastic habits of themselves and their peers, enabling development and implementation of impactful strategies in terms of Wild Rhino engagement with this audience moving forward.

The senior winners are as follows:

Nguyễn Đức Tuấn of the British International School, Hanoi
Nguyễn Viết Trường An of the Hanoi International School

Nguyễn Cao Quỳnh Anh & Trương Bá Tùng of the ABC International School
Đào Quang Nam Anh & Trần Thy Uyên My of the Asian International School
Phạm Châu Giang & Trần Đỗ Minh Khôi of the American International School
Lê Dương Minh Hà & Lee Ming-Ching of the Canadian International Schoool
Juliet Bảo Ngọc Doling & Phan Lê Minh An of the Renaissance International School
Lee Jiseung of the International School of HCMC
Liễu Ngọc Bảo Than of the American School

This upcoming trip to South Africa will begin a new change, a new perspective aside from my daily life, to unite as one perceiving the nature and the deserved wild animals with my very own eyes.  In the future, together with other [previous years’] Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors, and the Wild Rhino Campaign, we will use our experiences and strengths to raise awareness in our community and aim to make a change in the citizens’ mindsets, activities and responsibilities in protecting the rhinos and the wild with which we have been gifted.”  Lieu Ngoc Bao Thanh,  Senior Winner of the Wild Rhino Competition.

Junior and Senior winners from the Hanoi International School in Vietnam receive their prizes from superhero Rhino Ranger and Thu Hyunh, staff member of Wilderness Foundation Africa in Vietnam.

Superhero Rhino Ranger spent time posing for photographs with children of the Singapore International School @ Gamuda Gardens in Hanoi after handing out prizes to the Wild Rhino Competition winners.

Competition winners from the British International School in Hanoi receiving their prizes from superhero Rhino Ranger.

A winning entry received Thai Duong Khue of The American School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Wild Rhino Competition 2019 Winners Announced

Wild Rhino Competition 2019 Winners Announced

Wild Rhino would like to thank the youth of Vietnam for their innovative ideas and congratulate the 29 Juniors and 14 Seniors that made it through in the competition!! Junior winners will receive a special Wild Rhino hamper and Seniors win a wilderness trail and workshop to become the new Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors all the way in South Africa!!

See the winners table below:

School Grade Winner
The ABC International School         Junior Ham Rahee
Jang Seong Min (Brian)
Duong Nguyen Anh
Phan Le Trang Vi
Senior Nguyen Cao Quynh Anh (Sarah)
Truong Ba Tung
The Asian International School        Junior Le Anh Khoi (Peter)
Nguyen Hong Minh Chau (Cindy)
Nguyen Le Cat Quyen
Nguyen Phuong Thao
Pham Tran Vinh Nguyen
Cao Tran Nhat Ha (Alice)
Senior Dao Quang Nam Anh
Tran Thy Uyen My (Mary)
American International School    Junior Le Anh Minh
Nguyen Linh Phuong (Merc)
Senior Pham Chau Giang (Elsa)
Tran Do Minh Khoi (Mike)
Australian International School Junior Arutina Kateryna
Wong Shun Ying (Angus)
Khang Dang Ngoc Linh (Sofia)
Bilingual Canadian International School Junior Phan Quoc Thinh (Donald)
Scherz Tuan (Denis)
British International School Hanoi Junior Cho Won Ho (Jack)
Senior Nguyen Duc Tuan
Canadian International School Junior La Le Quynh Anh (Elsa)
Dang Nguyen Khang (Kyle)
Senior Le Duong Minh Ha
Lee Ming Ching (Valison)
Hanoi International School Senior Nguyen Viet Truong An
International School of Ho Chi Minh City Junior Bui Minh Tri (Tony)
Senior Lee Jiseung (Joseph)
Renaissance International School Saigon Junior  Nguyen An Truc (Pippi)
Yeom Minah
Senior Phan Le Minh An
Doling Bao Ngoc Juliet
Singapore International School @ Gamuda Gardens  Junior Jee Hyun
Nguyen Thi Yen Ngoc (Elina)
Saigon South International School Junior Vo Phuong Anh
Yang Zirui (Dan)
The American School (TAS) Junior Tran Y Nhi (Bella)
Thai Duong Khue (Jasmine)
Senior Lieu Ngoc Bao Thanh (Jenny)
World Rhino Day Celebrated In Vietnam

World Rhino Day Celebrated In Vietnam

Wilderness Foundation Africa hosted an event at the Asian International School in Ho Chi Minh city on 19 September week to commemorate World Rhino Day 2018.

A group consisting of 300 school children, dignitaries and partners of the Wild Rhino | Vietnam, be my Hero campaign stood together to celebrate the existence of rhino, recognize the conservation efforts to protect this magnificent species and to highlight the campaign vision to stop the demand for rhino horn.

During proceedings, guests assisted with positioning pieces of a puzzle together, symbolizing the commitment of people from Vietnam and South Africa working together to stop the demand for rhino horn. The act of putting together this life-size puzzle of a rhino with the messaging DON’T USE RHINO HORN was filmed by a drone and the material will be disseminated via social media platforms, with the intent of reaching not only the Vietnamese market, but the world. 

Mr Matthew Norval and Ms Cheryl Reynolds of Wilderness Foundation Africa were in Vietnam for 10 days in order to launch the 3rd phase of the popular Wild Rhino competition at 15 participating schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as to host a seminar at Hoa Sen University of Saturday, 22 September 2018 on Demand Reduction of Wildlife Products.  With close to 200 university students attending the seminar and viewing a wildlife exhibition, the message of the urgency of protecting rhino and elephant will be imparted in the mind of these students.

Ms Almut Roessner, Executive Director of EuroCHAM, and Mr Thanh Bui, CEO of SOUL Corporation positioning the final piece of the rhino puzzle.

Ms Almut Roessner, Executive Director of EuroCHAM, and Mr Thanh Bui, CEO of SOUL Corporation positioning the final piece of the rhino puzzle.

Mr Matthew Norval, Mr Thanh Bui, Rhino Ranger, Peter le ha Long, Ms Cheryl Reynolds and Ms Almut Roessner

Mr Matthew Norval, Mr Thanh Bui, Rhino Ranger, Peter le ha Long, Ms Cheryl Reynolds and Ms Almut Roessner

Mr Matthew Norval, COO of Wilderness Foundation Africa with a student from The Asian International School

Mr Matthew Norval, COO of Wilderness Foundation Africa with a student from The Asian International School

World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day 2018

Rhino Ranger returns to stop the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam

Rhino Ranger returns to stop the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam

Vietnam is the worlds largest recipient of illegal rhino horn from South Africa. To reduce rhino horn consumption and therefore demand, Wilderness Foundation Africa is working with school-going Vietnamese youngsters to create a generation of ambassadors who will grow up to be in a position to influence their peers, parents and families to reduce and ultimately stop the demand for rhino horn.

Building on the campaign developed in 2015, Rhino Ranger returns this month with a second  edition of the popular Rhino Ranger Comic book targeted at teenagers, as well as an exciting new product, a Rhino Ranger Activity book for the younger market.  Rhino Ranger is a superhero character who was launched on World Rhino Day in 2016 to spread the message of the “Wild Rhino | Vietnam, be my Hero” campaign to the target audience in Vietnam and is the driving force behind bringing a stop to the use and misinformation  around rhino horn.

In the second edition of the Comic book, Rhino Ranger travels to Vietnam to discover why his mother was killed in South Africa. Using cultural insights and the personal experience of the Wilderness Foundation Africa team who have been to Vietnam on several  occasions throughout the campaign, designers were able to create a comic that is truly believable. The appearance of street scenes the depiction of the culture are a true reflection of Vietnam and we hope that the youth who read these comic books become ambassadors for change.

Published alternate years, the comic is complimented by a competition to become a Wild Rhino Youth Ambassador and visit South Africa to experience rhino in their natural habitat. Junior children are chosen through a competition to draw a picture and write a poem, and senior children are tasked to write an essay on reducing the demand for rhino horn.

The Wilderness Foundation Africa team will visit Vietnam in September 2018 to launch the third  round of the Wild Rhino Competition, and distribute the Rhino Ranger comic book and activity book, along with other marketing collateral to the participating schools in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Edition 2 – Vietnamese

Edition 2 – English

Edition 1 – Vietnamese

Edition 1 – English



The Wilderness Foundation Africa Wild Rhino team was recently approached to participate in a series of Spark Talks focused on conservation, hosted by Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA). The seminar was produced by Homebrew Films at Atlantic Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, and consisted of a line up of 5 speakers. Phan Le Ha Long (Peter) was chosen to represent the Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors and he spoke on the Wild Rhino | Vietnam, be my Hero campaign. Peter’s talk focused on how we became one of the 11 winners of the Wild Rhino competition, the highlights of the trail that he took part in whilst in South Africa, the lessons learnt from this trip, as well as the work being done by himself and his fellow Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors in Vietnam to reduce the demand for rhino horn.

Spark Talks – Igniting a Passion for Conservation.

The talks focus on conservation topics with the aim to create a library of short content clips on conservation projects in Africa.

Below is a note of thanks from the producers of LCA Spark Talks to Peter.

“This is a thank you from the whole LCA SPARK TALKS team. Your contribution made the event not only possible but credible.

It is a rare gift to be able to communicate any idea to a broad audience and your talk will resonate with, not only our team, but the audience members for a long time – and also online”.

If you would like to watch the LCA Spark Talk seminar, go to

As mentioned by Chris Marais, MC of the LCA Spark Talks, after Peter’s presentation: “We’ve just listen to the future… “.