I still remember my first encounter with the Big Friendly Giants. Unfortunately not the Roald Dahl version, but rather nature’s very own Friendly Giants – kind and caring, enormously fierce while at the same time playful. The first elephant I ever had the privilege of meeting up close and personal made me want to give him a big hug. I think he tried, but being 10 years old and seeing a HUGE trunk coming my way rather made me retreat to a safe distance. From this distance I could observe his almost sad looking eyes, the coarseness of his skin and the wrinkles that made this enormous body look like a map to be explored. I have not thought about this experience often enough, but when I do, I smile and I think about taking pictures of my children and grand children having the privilege of growing up in South Africa and meeting their first Big Friendly Giant.
However, when I read about the cruelty towards these gentle giants I start to wonder whether I will ever have the opportunity to introduce my grand children to this majestic member of The Big Five. Not to be a prophet of doom, but it is becoming impossible to turn a blind eye to the alarming reality of elephants being killed to feed the ivory trade. The onus is on us to step into the gap and help to educate and inform others of the increasing dangers to survival that elephants are facing. So when the opportunity knocks for us to contribute towards this worthy cause we have a responsibility to open the door and invite as many others as possible to join in!
Such an opportunity is knocking as The International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW) and Artjamming
are partnering up to hold a two day public event in a plight to help save elephants from the ivory trade. This event will be held at Cape Town’s Cavendish Square shopping centre on Wednesday the 11th and Thursday the 12th of July. Celebrities and kids aged 5 to 12 from all communities, including the kids from ‘Reach for a Dream’ will be coming to this fun event in which they will participate in a 2 day Artjamming paint-a-thon, culminating in an auction of items created by them.
started in South Africa eight years ago and is the largest animal welfare event for youth in the world. In 2012 Animal Action’s focus turned to elephants and in particular the need to save elephants from the ivory trade. Through educational materials this programme will introduce young people to the challenges facing animals, people and the planet. Artjamming, known as the home of paintertainment, will be brightening up this event for the kids in an exciting and creative way by allowing them to freely express themselves, making use of various shapes and colours in conjunction with music.
The aim of this event is to get students actively involved in protecting animals and the environment, to educate and inform young people about animals, their habitats and their role in the world. This will encourage them to become directly involved in promoting actions, attitudes, and policies that create a better world for animals and people. IFAW’s project will also serve as the launch event for an IFAW Kid’s Club.
On Day 1 children from all over Cape Town will be invited to create a painting in a free Artjamming session. The paintings will be used as a backdrop for the next session on Day 2. On Day 2 50 children that entered the online competition will paint 10 doors together with celebrity guests. These doors will serve as a constant reminder of the threats facing elephants. The doors will then be auctioned at a cocktail party later that evening and the funds raised will be used by IFAW in its activities to protect elephants.
This initiative is truly a unique way to get involved and have fun, while contributing towards making a big difference to this worthy cause. Any support is welcome - this could be financial or in-kind help, to help ensure the success of this event.
Dates: Wednesday 11th July and Thursday 12th July 2012
Times: 10-00am – 16-00 pm
Auction: 18-00pm – 20-00pm
Venue: Centre Court, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town
For more information please contact
021-4470355 / 082-7841313