Rhimani are proud supporters of Tusk, the wildlife conservation charity.
Who are Tusk?
Tusk was established in 1990 by Charlie Mayhew and Timothy Ackroyd, as a wildlife conservation and non-profit organisation. The charity was set up after the poaching crisis in the 1980s when the black rhino was pushed to the brink of extinction and 100,000 elephants were slaughtered every year.
Since then, the charity has grown incredibly.
Prince William is a Tusk ambassador, alongside many other high profile personalities, such as Ronnie Wood, Bear Grylls and Katherine Jenkins.
Tusk have conservation initiatives across more than 20 countries, increasing vital protection for over 70 million hectares of land and more than 40 different threatened species.
I was first introduced to Tusk in 2019, when two of Rhimani’s university reps, Lara and Tess Mayhew, told me their father, Charlie Mayhew, was the co-founder of the charity. When I first spoke to Lara, she mentioned her "Dad was in conservation" and "he worked in the field". However, I didn’t appreciate at the time that her father was such a huge figure in the conservation world. Little did I know he had been awarded an MBE for his services to wildlife in Africa, having founded what has become the internationally renowned charity called Tusk. When I realised who Charlie was and what he represented, I was really keen to learn more about the organisation.
To date Tusk has played a very important role in getting Rhimani to where it is now. Lara introduced me to Charlie and ever since then Tusk and Rhimani have collaborated in various ways. Rhimani has had the pleasure of hosting pop-ups at various Tusk events, such as their annual conservation lecture. In 2019, Charlie gave a talk on wildlife conservation at Rhimani’s launch party. This was an event I will never forget.
Their approach to conservation is one I am passionate about. For Tusk, tackling poaching, habitat loss and the human/wildlife conflict, is something that needs to happen at the grass roots level involving the local population -- "we believe local people and organisations are best positioned to address these threats, but they are often under-resourced and lack the recognition they deserve." Tusk believes the crux of the problem needs to be tackled with the help of the people at the community level first.
Tusk believes education is fundamental to progressive African conservation movements -- "we support and promote effective environmental education designed to provide a more sustainable future for the next generation." Fundamentally both these approaches (education and addressing local people) are what attracted me so much towards the charity.
What does Tusk do?
Tusk partners with Africa’s leading conservationists to protect endangered species. Tusk continuously has plenty of projects running, all of which have one end goal --"a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across the African continent."
Currently some of these projects are:
Blue Ventures (marine conservation)
Big Life Foundation (poaching) and
AfriCat Foundation (cheetah conservation).
The Tusk projects protect more than 40 threatened species and their habitats.
To name one project, Tusk set up and runs the ‘Sera Wildlife Conservancy’ (SWC). Launched in 2001, the local communities formed an initiative with the defined aim of --“bringing together three historically rival ethnic groups" to ensure conservation efforts and wildlife protection. It was so successful, that in 2015 the Sera Rhino Sanctuary was founded. Ten rhino were transferred from other areas in Kenya. "It was the first community conservancy in East Africa to operate a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of the critically endangered black rhino."