Empowering Students to Reduce Rhino Horn Demand

Saturday 28 October 2017

Reducing demand for rhino horn in the USA

Empowering students to change perceptions

Supported by Sony Pictures Entertainment


After a half-year of development and testing, we began our rollout of our efforts to reduce the demand for rhino horns in the United States! This project is empowering 5th through 12th graders to change the perceptions of horn use among their school, family, friends, and community.

The root cause why rhinos are endangered is that there is an inaccurate perception among some users of Traditional Asian Medicine that the horn is of medicinal use. This continues, despite several rigorous studies that have found no medical value in consuming rhino horn. Most consumers of horn either never think about how it is harvested or created (do you ever think about that for the medicine that you consume?) or are unaware that rhinos are typically killed when the horns are harvested. 

Similarly, those who are interested in purchasing the horns as investment – currently a very large demand in itself – usually do not think of where the horns come from or that their purchase leads to the brutal slaughter of rhinos.

Children are passionate, receptive to new ideas, and are disproportionately interested in actions that promote pro-environmental causes. In our preliminary experiences working with middle school students over the last half year, they are extremely effective change agents. Once activated through education and empowerment, these students are bulldogs for the good. We feel blessed that the responses from students have been so positive!

To this end, we began the formal rollout of our project by engaging several dozen employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City, California. We are fortunate to have received generous funding from the Sony Pictures A Greener World grant program. The first component of this award was to enlist staff to recruit their children’s’ teachers, their friends and neighbors who are teachers, and others to reach out to us to bring our program to their school. 

The 49 staff who attended were engaged and creative – little surprise from a group of movie-makers! We are excited as to where this partnership may go as we strive to effectively engage students in reducing demand for rhino horn in Southern California community. All signs are for a great success, and we cannot wait.

If you are a teacher, or know someone who is a teacher, and would like to empower your students to make a real contribution to conservation by helping to reduce demand for rhino horn in the United States, please contact us by clicking the button below.

If you would like to schedule an assembly, classroom discussion or virtual visit with Helping Rhinos please also contact us by clicking the button below.

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