The 18th July is Tata Madiba’s (Nelson Mandela) birthday. For 67 years the father of our nation fought for social justice, freedom and equality for all. Mandela crept into the hearts of many South Africans and snuck into the hearts of people around the world. This iconic legend inspired a global call to action to transform the world in whatever way possible. Travel across the world and foreigners might not know “South Africa”, but mention “Mandela” and you’re greeted with a familiar nod accompanied by a “yes, yes” . In 1942 he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African, and became a beacon of hope to many. He taught us peace, forgiveness, fight and confidence.
To honour Mandela’s memory we spend 67 minutes (1 minute for every year of Madiba’s public service) on his birthday, inspiring change and giving back where we can. At Sun Destinations we’ve implemented the Mandela make-an-impact school of thought, and made a decision to work closely with Nkombe Rhino, an institution that sponsors, supports and motivates the members of Anti Poaching Units (APU). The global 67 minutes for us is now firmly entrenched in our business model. Today represents an opportunity to encourage others to take 67 minutes to give back and weave the notion of giving into the fibre of their being. Every day should be Mandela Day!
Nkombe Rhino was started by rugby player Joe Pietersen, who is as passionate about wildlife, community and conservation as he is about rugby. Joe works closely with a number of organisations to provide support to Nkombe’s APU. The APU comprises teams of professionally trained men on the frontline fighting for the future of wildlife.
Currently, the team is deployed in the African bushveld protecting, tracking and setting up advanced search patrols to intercept illegal poaching missions in the Greater Kruger Park. The vision of Nkombe is to provide consistent support to this on-the-ground team that are faced with dangerous situations on a daily basis while trying to protect and conserve the heritage of South Africa.
Nkombe provides support by sourcing the best equipment, from local and international organisations through funding from supporters. Funding is earmarked to upgrade the unit’s satellite camps, and ensuring there’s a good quality of life when not on patrol. The team needs a place to call ‘home’ when they return from lengthy deployments in the unforgiving conditions of the ‘veld.
Want to help the hardworking APU unit ? Click here to donate.
One of our directors, Courteney Blunden, has extensive knowledge of the wild and is well-versed on the topic of conservation initiatives in the Kruger. He says, “Sun Destinations helps in anyway possible. We occasionally donate, help with public relations, and find other creative ways to help. We actually also work with ground operations and tried to have a hands-on approach. In the future we’ll look help with darting rhino. Ultimately, Joe wants Nkombe to be known as the “people’s” NPO. An organisation where those involved have an equal say in various conservation efforts, which aren’t necessarily limited to rhino conservation. Nkombe will help with any species that needs it and will do their best to help raise funds for things like collars, dehorning and relocation; and anything that prevents extinction”.
Use your 67 minutes to be a change maker. One individual has the power to transform the world and truly make an impact. One small change can lead to bigger changes, like it did with Sun Destinations’ involvement with Nkombe Rhino.