This article originally appeared in IB Global News, which provides an array of news and information about IB programmes, professional development and research.
Thanks to the work of students like Danike de Jager, the Westwood International School in Botswana has made rhino conservation and working with underprivileged youth into sustainable school projects. DP students team up with their peers at the International School in Stockholm working collaboratively to create awareness of the importance of rhino conservation and raise funds for a breeding scheme for the Black Rhino, a species that is virtually extinct.
What did you enjoy most about completing your CAS project?
It has, and will always be, one of the most rewarding and gratifying experiences and achievements in my life. It will always be instead of just donating money, felt like I was truly helping something that I cherish. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the implementation of my project at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and hearing the positive feedback from the rangers. Working directly with the children, instead of just donating money, felt like I was truly helping.
What did you hope to accomplish through this project?
I hoped to start a project that would be sustained by Westwood International School to create a long lasting difference and change the attitude of youth towards conservation. I wanted to expose the local children to their country’s beautiful wildlife and to learn the importance of conserving it because the youth are the people who can make a change in our world.
I also hoped to help the plight of the rhino in Botswana and consequently in sub Saharan Africa. They are an important species for biodiversity. Helping to monitor them at the sanctuary ensures their safety.I hoped to start a project that would be sustained by Westwood International School
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I faced numerous challenges, from struggling to get hold of sponsors, to arriving at Khama Rhino Sanctuary with 22 children when our arrival had not been registered and nothing was prepared for us. During that visit, my class-mates and I persevered and worked collaboratively with the staff at Khama Rhino Sanctuary to arrange food and accommodation for the children. Through hard work and perseverance I was able to overcome the challenges and will always have respect for the people working with me.
Find out more about the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Botswana.