GEORGE NEWS - A group of five students raised R28 000 in three weeks for the Wild Rescue Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre in the Klipfontein Nature Reserve, between Still Bay and Riversdale. This was part of a fundraising project for their leadership management class at Inscape IEG Stellenbosch campus.
They had to choose an organisation they wanted to support, set a goal, raise money and then use the money and volunteer their time to make a difference at the organisation - all within an eight-week period.
Wild Rescue, in cooperation with CapeNature, several companies and various vets, work together to rescue injured, orphaned, and other wildlife in need in the Western Cape.
The organisation relies heavily on donations and fundraising projects to build enclosures and infrastructure.
Since the students all have a passion for design, helping animals and working for the long-term sustainability of all wildlife, the Wild Rescue Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre was a natural choice.
Raising the money
They visited the sanctuary to take stock and determined that the greatest need was the completion of the newly built clinic and adjacent shelters. At this clinic, the injured and rescue animals will be examined, operated on, and moved to the adjoining shelters to recover till they are ready to be released or, if they cannot be released, housed in the enclosures at the sanctuary where they will receive high quality care for the rest of their lives.
The students identified specific needs like fencing, poles, rafters and special medical grade paint. Part of their brief was to organise and buy the building materials. Jannineke Cockrell, the team leader, said previous quotations amounted to approximately R20 000, money they did not have.
"This inspired us and we set a goal of R25 000. To reach this goal we decided to run a raffle where we were blessed enough to have amazing sponsors who gave us fantastic prizes to raffle," she says. "When we decided to do the raffle, our timeline was to raise the R25 000 in five weeks."
She says from the start the raffle worked exceptionally well and drew a lot of attention. "Friends, family and the public did not hesitate to support this special fundraiser. All our expectations were exceeded. Not only did we exceed our goal of R25 000 by R3 600 and raised R28 600, but it was achieved within three weeks."
They contacted local suppliers to buy the materials, who in return blessed the project with great price discounts.
The students did their volunteer work during the last weekend of October. "We were welcomed by Gill Simpson, the executive director and founder of Wild Rescue, who stays on the farm and manages the sanctuary and rehabilitation centre," says Cockrell. "We stayed in two beautiful cottages with breathtaking views, the perfect getaway that is also available to the public."
The team spent a day painting the clinic and the floors of the adjoining shelters, as well as digging trenches for the poles with Richard, the farm foreman. After a hard day's work, they relaxed with a lovely meal, feeling blessed to be part of the final work on the clinic that will play a crucial role in the rescue and care of injured wildlife.
The team also had the honour to name one of the male "skillies", Fergus. Currently the sanctuary houses 23 leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys Pardalis) that were rescued in the Worcester area and cannot be released back to the wild.
According to Cockrell, Simpson said their generous contribution gave the work a huge boost. The Wild Rescue team is now finalising the paintwork on the clinic and building the enclosure that will ensure that no animals escape during the drop-off or pick-up process.
The students are very grateful for the opportunity to help the sanctuary and, ultimately, the animals that will benefit from it. They thank each and every one who bought a raffle ticket, as well as their sponsors.
"We want to thank Libertas Guest Farm, Oakhurst farm Cottages, Point Village Hotel, Avondrust Farm Stay and Cape Canopy tours for supporting us and our cause," says Cockrell. "Without them, we would not have been able to pull off this project successfully."
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