Stage 1 – Fundraising
In 2015, Karrie and Charles met with an anti-poaching ranger at iMfolozi to discuss their rhino population, the role of the local community, anti-poaching tactics, funding needs, and what international support might be most effective. As a result of that discussion, the first component of Hornucopia is educational and targeted fund raising. We will raise the monies necessary to reinstate and provide operational costs for a patrol of 5 horses at iMfolozi. The goal is to educate donors and potential donors of the plight of the rhino population while providing funds necessary to operate one of the most effective anti-poaching tactics rangers have. The preserve was forced to eliminate their horse patrol due to funding cuts. All of the infrastructure is in place to stable the horses.
Stage 2 – Fund dispersal
Once the funding is secured for the purchase of the 5 horses, a year supply of food and medication, updated tack, improve facilities, and veterinary services, members of the Project Thorn team will work directly with 12Hours and iMfolozi to oversee the purchase of all the goods and services necessary to reinstate the horse patrol. Due to the potential reallocation of funds a direct contribution of goods must be arranged to insure the funds are used as intended. This website will be used to chronicle the process and progress.
Stage 3 – On location
Members of the team will return to South Africa to be present when the horse patrol returns to the park. While in the park we will document the stables, horses, rangers, etc. to share with donors and use for educational purposes. We will also gather documentation of the preserve’s rhino population, gather stories from the rangers, visit the rehabilitation boma, and possibly attend an animal auction.
Stage 4 – Art – local investment, local involvement.
With the assistance of the RhinoArt organization, Karrie will conduct a series of felting workshops with young women. The education of women typically ends with the birth of their first child which limits their economic potential for their lifetime. She wishes to provide them with a skill that can be done in the home while caring for children. From the workshop participants, Karrie will select a few to establish a long term relationship with. iMfolozi has a large cultural market in the park which sells the crafts of local artisans where the products can be sold. The profits from the sale at the market will be split between the craftswomen and a fund to sustain the horse patrol for subsequent years. The stories of the women will be chronicled on the blog. The team will also join RhinoArt for the school programs conducted while in the region.
Stage 5 – Individual artwork
Karrie will make a series of artworks informed by her experiences from this process and the knowledge she gains as she learn more about rhinos and rhino poaching. At this time Karrie anticipates working with the Nirox Foundation again if their facilities will accommodate the project.
As an optimist that the rhino are not destined for extinction, the working title for the collection of projects is Hornucopia : Horn of Plenty.
Stage 6 – Continued Funding
We are in the process of determining whether or not to establish a US-based brand called Thorn (acroynym for The Help Our Rhinos Need). The goals of the brand would be to continue to spread awareness and to educate Americans to the plight of the rhino. Proceeds will be donated to the continued support of the horse program and to cover costs associated with educational efforts undertaken domestically.