Nairobi Walks the Talk for Elephants and Rhinos

Nairobi Walks the Talk for Elephants and Rhinos

 

Participants started streaming in at the Nairobi National Museum  from as early as 7 am. Men and women, young and old showed up for the count and joined the Nairobi edition of the Global march for elephants and rhinos, on Saturday 4 October 2014.

Dr Paula Kahumbu, CEO of WildlifeDirect and of the HandsOffOurElephants campaign was also here with a team of staff and volunteers.

At about 9 am, the crowd of about 1,500 left the museum and started the march towards the Uhuru gardens, using Uhuru highway and on to Langata road.

“This is one of the most moving and memorable moments in elephant conservation for this country in the last 25 years,” said Dr Kahumbu . “This demonstrates that time has come and  Kenyans are saying No More!”

Present at the march to show support to the conservation of elephants and rhinos was the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi. She said that the Kenyan judiciary was committed to enforcing the law. ” We are going to make sure that anybody who is brought before the courts for anything connected with violation of our animals are going to be dealt with. So that is why I am here and I am really happy,” she added.

The cabinet secretary for the ministry of Environment, water and natural resources, Prof Judi Wakhungu sent a representative, Stephen Manegene, who read her statement on her behalf.

“We have prepared and implemented a comprehensive National Elephant Action plan towards combating illegal trade in ivory trade to ensure elephant poaching and illegal trade in elephant ivory is reduced if not eliminated,” she said in her statement.

Also present was the American ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec, as well as the Australian high commissioner to Kenya, Geoff Tooth.

Both diplomats expressed their support and commitment to wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya.

“The Australian people care passionately about the fate of elephants, the fate of the rhino and the fate of all animals that are on the endangered species list. That is why I am here;  I am here to represent them and to really show that we care and we want to do something about this absolutely evil trade that is destroying the animals for our kids futures,” said Commissioner Tooth.

On his part Ambassador Godec, pledged both his and his Government’s support. “I want to tell you that the American government, American people, me personally, we are committed to being part of the solution, helping to address the threat of poaching, to help preserve the lives of elephants and rhinos.”

The global march was a united front for conservation of the two endangered species, that saw marches happening in about 150 cities across the world.

The march called for measures to tackle the poaching problem, including a full worldwide ban on the trade of ivory and rhino horn.

 

Sir David Attenborough, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Rory Bremner and Michaela Strachan were among the high-profile names who shared their public support to the march.

 

“I hate what is happening right now with the elephants and rhinos. Over 1000 rhinos are killed per year for their horn. I want my children to find these species here and not have to ask me where they are,” said Charles Chomba, a student from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology who attended the march.

Another student, Wagah Cheryl of the Kwnyatta University, was appalled by the wanton killing of the magnificent species.  “The rate at which elephants and Rhinos are killed surprises me, yet these are our heritage. Poaching is something that should not be happening on our watch, and that is why I am here to join others in demonstrating this commitment”.

More than 35,000 elephants are also killed across Africa very year for their tusks, which are used, especially in China, for prized decorations and trinkets.

 

Paula Kahumbu joins other Kenyans in the Global March, Nairobi

Paula Kahumbu joins other Kenyans in the Global March, Nairobi

Hands Off Our Elephants at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival

#HandsOffOurElephants at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival

The Hands Off Our Elephants team has just returned from an exciting five days of interaction and knowledge sharing at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival. Running from the 17th through to the 21st September, the HandsOff team pitched tent and curated several activities in support of elephants at the Nairobi National Museum, where this year’s edition of the festival was staged.

Since its inception in 2007, the Storymoja Festival has grown into an internationally established event that brings together and celebrates critical thinkers and great minds in storytelling, ideas sharing, writing and contemporary culture. It offers a platform for exposure, for local and international collaborations, and showcases creative talent to feed the minds of both young and old across cultural and social divides.

“The festival attracts thousands of people from diverse sectors, so this is a great opportunity for us to reach completely new audiences and tell young people about what we are doing, “says WildlifeDirect and the HandsOdffOurElephants CEO, Dr Paula Kahumbu.

“We ask them how much they know about elephants and discover that there is very little education among many young people in this country. So it is a great opportunity to give them information, engage and invite them to be part of the campaign,” she adds.

For the team, the highlight of the festival was a monetary donation made to the campaign by a little girl from the Creative Cottage home school in Limuru. The girl had been playing at the Play Dough corner with her friends, interacting with the team’s volunteers and learning more about elephants and efforts to conserve them. And in a rare show of support, the little girl, Chloe Mukibi, reached into her bag and counted all of her five shillings coins and donated them to HandsOffOurElephants. “I know it’s not much,” she said, “But I hope it will help”.

And it will!

“When challenged to come up with ideas of how they can help,” said Dr Kahumbu, “some students get very creative! Some want to start up elephant clubs and create awareness in their home or school communities, some want to become rangers; and that to me is what is so great about this because they have seen others doing interesting things and they want to be part of it,” said Dr Kahumbu.

Hands Off Our Elephants screened the award winning film, Battle for the Elephants to hundreds of students and adults. The screening was followed by a question and answer session where WildlifeDirect staff answered questions from the audience.

The HandsOff team also hosted the Sing For the Elephants show, in which the stage was open to anyone with a song or poem or spoken word performance to take part in and to register for the Ndovu Music contest. Hundreds of children took part in this and registered for the music contest, in which the winner will win a chance to record a song with the renowned Kenyan hip hop artist, Juliani.

For video clips of the HandsOffOurElephants team at the Story Moja Festival, please go to our YouTube channel here:

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Or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HandsOffOurElephants

 

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Elephant “families” made by the children

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Screening of “Battle for the Elephants”

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“BIC” mascot just couldn’t be left out

Large Banner of Tim was great for selfies #KeepTimAlive

Large Banner of Tim was great for selfies
#KeepTimAlive

CELEBRATE WORLD ELEPHANT DAY

Keep Tim Alive poster

*****INVITATION TO CELEBRATE WORLD ELEPHANT DAY****

WORLD ELEPHANT DAY is coming up.This special day was created to raise awareness of the crisis facing elephants. Last year more than 20,000 elephants were gunned down across Africa for their tusks to supply the ivory demand mainly in Asia.

In Nairobi, Kenya, HANDS OFF OUR ELEPHANTS kicks of the celebration on Saturday the of 9TH AUGUST. It will be a glorious jubilation of elephants through film, fashion, music and art.

VENUE: BROOKHOUSE SCHOOL, LANGATA
ENTRANCE- FREE. TIME: 10AM-3PM

ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US IN CELEBRATING WORLD ELEPHANT DAY.

We have an exciting program of events lined up for elephant lovers
including two spectacular films,

“White Gold” Directed by Simon Trevor and narrated by Hilary Clinton. This front-line exposé of the modern day ivory trade explores its frightening impact—not only threatening elephant populations, but at times even funding terrorism. Narrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the film pays tribute to the beauty and emotional intelligence of the elephant and documents how the demand for ivory raises the stakes for nature, people and peace. Producer Arne Glimcher, founder of the Pace Gallery, joins forces with acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Simon Trevor and the producers of the African Environmental Film Foundation to tell the story. Ian Saunders and Tanya Saunders were involved in this production. The filmmaking team will hold an extended conversation following the film.

and

“Echo an Elephant Remember” Echo, the remarkable matriarch of a family of elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, was one of the most studied elephant in the world. She was the subject of several books and documentaries, including two NATURE films. For nearly four decades, elephant expert Cynthia Moss from the Amboseli Trust For Elephants, and award-winning filmmaker Martyn Colbeck recorded the trials and triumphs of Echo and her family, documenting the intense loyalties and deep caring that are so fundamental to all elephants, creating a moving record of a life we all can share.

PROGRAM WILL ALSO INCLUDE

1) Panel discussions
2) FASHION SHOW – KIKOTI-Hands Off Our Elephants Fashion Debut
3) ELEPHANT FUN FACT QUIZ SESSION – Raffles and other great opportunities to win prizes
4) ENTERTAINMENT- NdovuMusic, Drama, puppet show, HOOE- Penalty shoot out with elephant ball
5) ELEPHANT ART AUCTION- to fund raise for Hands Off Our Elephants OUTREACH Program.

Other activities include:
Recycled Art & Craft Display, Elephant Art Exhibition.
Food Vendors
Information desks by supporting partners, organizations & initiatives

There are several ways that you can participate

1. Invite your youth group/organization to join the festivities and participate through an information stand
2. Reach out to your community/friends/family to attend the event with you – It is free!
3. Participate as a volunteer/audience or other activities in the wildlife quiz & debate
4. Display and sell/ auction your elephant art- Drawings & Portraits, Paintings, Sculptures.
5. Using social media #WORLDELEPHANTDAY#HANDSOFFOURELEPHANTS tag us in a picture, comment, status, mentioning why we need to celebrate elephants. Share this invitation to all you facebook and twitter followers.

Please contact Njambi- njambi.maingi@wildlifedirect.org, if you are interested in participating in any way.

We are look forward to seeing you on the 9th!