Messengers of Nature
The Winning Trip to South Africa
Aug 22 to Aug 29, 2015
Messenger of Nature, a video making competition to raise awareness of endangered species, is a joint project between Roots & Shoots, the signature environmental education program of the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong, and the Scouts Association of Hong Kong New Territory Region.
The winning team, the Wild Boys, consists of 5 Scouts, took on a trip to South Africa to experience the African wildlife and further explore the pressing issue of species endangerment due to poaching, human wildlife conflict, and human consumption of animal products.
The trip took them to South Africa’s Kruger National Park where they saw many wildlife species including lions, rhinos and elephants. While at Kruger they received a talk from Grant Beverly from Endangered Wildlife Trust on the highly endangered African Wild Dogs and amazingly sighted the dogs at Kruger Park the next day. They were granted special permission to tour the Kruger Park Veterinary Wildlife Services facility where they learned how the park stores their animal DNAs and records. The trip finalised with the Scouts presenting their winning entry at Wilderness Safari to media, animal focus and youth groups, director Susan Scott and presenter Bonne de Bod, of Stroop die Film, a documentary highlighting the current rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, and 3 senior executives from South Africa’s National Empowerment Fund through the arrangement of the Counsel General of the South Africa Consulate in Hong Kong.
Their trip was reported on a South Africa newspaper called Sandton Chronicle. Dr. Jane Goodall, through a video message made especially to Messengers of Nature, urged them to continue their good work to help save endangered species because the animals need their help so very badly.
On Sept 19, to celebrate Roots & Shoots International Peace Day, JGI Hong Kong and the Scouts Association will host a sharing session at the Scouts Association Headquarter. The Wild Boys will share their experience, photographs and videos taken during their 8 day trip in South Africa. Their commitment to conservation and their continual effort to help endangered species will be expressed through their photography. A part II of their video will be launched in Nov 2015 on 2600 buses running around in Hong Kong over a 14 day period. With playing 12 times a day the video will potentially out reach to tens of thousands of grass root residents in Hong Kong.
Messenger of Nature Wild Boys visit to S. African Consulate
The winning team from JGI Hong Kong’s Messenger of Nature competition, Wild Boys, visited the South African Consulate on August 14th, 2015 in preparation for their trip. Phumelele Gwala, Consul General of South Africa greeted the Wild Boys upon arrival, During the 1.5 hour meeting, the Wild Boys received praises for their winning video, as well as some first hand information on the culture and traditions of South Africa. Through the Messenger of Nature competition, JGI Hong Kong continued to develop great relationship with the Consul General and Roots & Shoots groups in South Africa.