Today I was invited down to SAB for the launch of the SAB Boucher Conservation Non-Profit Company. The company has been put together with the aim of raising critical funds needed to assist in the fight against Rhino poaching.
The goal of the campaign is to raise R1 million through its first year and this was given a hefty boost on the night by SAB donating R300 000 towards the set up costs so that all money raised in the campaign would be put towards saving the Rhino.
The new company aimed to raise enough money to eventually register all of South Africa’s 18,000 rhinos on a national Rhino DNA database (RhoDIS), established and run by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort.
And having Mark Boucher associated with the campaign will benefit it greatly by raising the public awareness of the objective. He played 147 test matches and 295 One Day Internationals for South Africa and took 1 000 dismissals in all international matches (Tests – 1 wicket, 532 Catches, 23 stumpings, ODI – 403 catches, 22 stumpings). Of course, as pointed out on the evening, Boucher is the World Record holder and is part of two of the top 5 wicket keeper-bowler partnerships in test cricket history, along with Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini. He will also always be fondly remembered for being the man that took South Africa home in the “Greatest One Day Ever”.
“There are so many passionate people out there fighting rhino poaching every day. And yet we don’t seem to be winning the battle. I believe we should each do our share to help protect the rhino. My own contribution will be in partnership with SAB and Castle Lager with whom I have shared many highlights over so many years. This type of partnership can make a positive contribution if we focus on a tangible contribution to the larger rhino conservation effort”, says Boucher.
Patrons of the non-profit company include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Ali Bacher, Dr Ian Player, former SANParks CEO, Mavuso Msimang and Dr Richard Emslie, Scientific Officer of the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group. “These proven leaders from different sectors are all lending us their credibility and reputations to assist in raising the resources required to meet our objective. Despite the challenges we face today, I am hopeful that by joining forces we can turn the situation around and keep the rhino safe for future generations” says Boucher.
He was of course joined on the evening by fellow South African cricketer and enthusiast for the plight of the Rhinos, big-hitting Albie Morkel as well as Neil Mckenzie and his wife Kerry. Boucher even made a point to mention that Neil would be the most embarrassing bowler to be dismissed by in cricket. The launch of the campaign was fantastic, but the actual objective and work of the campaign that is truly inspiring.
Donations to the NPC can be made to:
Account name: SAB Boucher
Bank: Standard Bank
Account type: Current
Account number: 273377671
Branch code: 01 46 45 00
Swift code: SB ZA ZA JJ
For further information, please contact:
Head of Media and Communications, SAB
Tel: 011 881 8679
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