“I think that buying rhino horns just to show others that you are rich is unreasonable, It infuriates me that the world has to sacrifice rhinos just for a group of people wanting to basically show off their money.” These are the words of a young Vietnamese girl as written in a prize winning essay in the Wild Rhino competition.
More and more, the next generation of decision-makers in Vietnam seek to speak up against environmental crimes such as rhino poaching, and the Wild Rhino competition gives them the opportunity to do just that.
The Wild Rhino competition, run every two years at 11 participating schools in Ho Chi Minh City, invites junior students to enter by submitting a poem or a picture. Senior students enter by submitting an essay in which they respond to questions such as: “What would you say to stop someone from buying rhino horn?”; “What impact would it have if rhino became extinct?”; “What are the biggest myths about rhino horn, and how can you change it?”; and “How are you going to make a difference?”.
Junior winners receive a variety of Rhino Ranger prizes, and senior winners visit South Africa where they spend a week on a wilderness walking trail in the iMfolozi Game Reserve, followed by a workshop on the rhino poaching crisis. The workshop equips the youngsters to return to Vietnam as dedicated ambassadors for the conservation and protection of rhino.