A Seed is Sown
In May of 2016 a string of seven handmade clay beads inspired by and painted with colours of Africa’s animals and traditional tribal patterns played a significant part in a parish Family Service in Wiltshire. The children present were each given a small block of clay with the name of an orphan elephant at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust attached to it to take home to create their own beads. These beads would be a reminder to each family of the plight of elephants in Africa and their diminishing numbers due to poaching and the illegal trade in ivory….a reminder of what we could lose in a generation if nothing is done to stop this awful ‘trade’.
Well, many strings of beads were made and hung in homes where they would become a symbol of hope for a little elephant calf orphaned as a result of its mother’s death …. and all because of man’s desire to own trinkets carved from ivory.
The Year 5 children at Great Bedwyn Primary School in Wiltshire heard about the beads and the symbolism behind them, and wanted to learn more …..an invitation to the School was accepted.
Children are gifted with a wonderfully natural empathy for animals so they were immediately engaged once told facts about elephants….the world’s largest living species of land animal…. their wisdom, intelligence and maternal strength….their sense of family protection…..their lifelong friendships ….their knowledge of migratory trails, grazing land, and waterholes to drink from during drought….the fact that they will also know whether someone is friend or foe…. noble, majestic, beautiful and sociable animals hunted for their tusks….basically two large teeth which can weigh up to 250 pounds and fetch a vast amount of money on the black market.
The children decided there and then to hold a fundraising event to benefit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya where the Tsavo elephants roam the bush and savannah.
David Sheldrick was a pioneer in wildlife conservation and the protection of natural habitat for animals in the Tsavo Park. His love for Africa’s wild animals and places lead to Dame Daphne Sheldrick setting up the Trust in his name. It is the most successful orphaned elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world today.
Their mission is one of respect and regard for the animals in their care and their welfare and habitat. Their mission is to release elephants, once grown, back into the wild where they can have a quality of life in wild terms. Their anti-poaching and air surveillance team work effectively across the Tsavo Conservation Area …..their mobile veterinary teams treat injured wildlife across Kenya…they bore water holes which the Trust’s elephants know and attract wild herds to during drought…..they offer an education program within schools and the community ….the Saving Habitats program exists to protect and preserve habitat for Africa’s wildlife…. and they inspire everyone visiting their website across our planet.
We have made and painted 80 strings of our lovely clay beads to sell for £5.00 each…. to raise enough to foster an orphan elephant for 10 years which every child from Reception up to leaving age will know throughout their Primary school education and beyond…and also to raise awareness of the plight of the wild herds in Africa and the tragic consequences of poaching. Each string of beads bears two tags….the name of an orphaned calf (eg. Ndotto) and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust…. absolutely and utterly priceless in value. We would like every school across the UK to get involved. Children have a mighty and powerful voice which resonates through family generations and reaches far and wide. Kids’ Tusk Force UK will make as loud a voice as possible to governments across the World.
BE PART OF AN ELEPHANT’S FUTURE, become a global citizen, and add your voice. You will find instructions to make the beads (protected status, design no 6005186) on this website…a remarkably simple and effective way of raising funds for a quite remarkable Wildlife Trust. All we ask is that you register your schools participation in this crusade.
The seed that was planted in May 2016 has grown into something very big. What a joy to think that an idea created in a small Wiltshire village has the potential to contribute to the work of the many exceptional organizations and charities involved in anti-poaching and the preservation of endangered species….and all on behalf of children.
Please help us as ambassadors for Kids’ Tusk Force UK to make it even bigger.
We are delighted and privileged to be associated with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust as a fundraising partner.
From the Year 5 children of Great Bedwyn CE Primary School, Wiltshire.
And June Pearson MBE.
Kids’ Tusk Force beads must be sold with two tags ….the first bearing the name of an orphan elephant…..the second bearing Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The beads are not to be sold for any other reason.