About the project
CASSANDRAS OWN WORDS ABOUT MINI RODINI 4 ELEPHANTS
Poaching and illegal trade in ivory is the single largest threat to elephants today, killing on average one elephant every half hour. For the Fall Winter 2019, Cassandra Rhodin, Founder and Creative Director, created the mini collection Mini Rodini 4 Elephants.
– I want to use Mini Rodini’s platform to contribute in the way we can by spreading awareness of the Elephant’s situation and to raise as much money as possible to protect them.100 percent of all funds raised from Mini Rodini 4 Elephants will go straight to support the anti-poaching and anti-trafficking operations in Zimbabwe, says Cassandra. Mini Rodini is donating 20 % of the price of each garment from the collection to Wildhood Foundation to support the Akashinga project – employing women as wildlife warriors.
Cassandra spent part of 2018 drawing and designing Mini Rodini 4 Elephants, and in May she went to visit the Akashinga camp in Zimbabwe and stayed in the bush. – These women are true heroes. When I was there, they arrested poachers carrying cyanide, to poison water holes or fruits in order to kill elephants. Akashinga means “the brave ones” and these women truly live up the name, says Cassandra. Akashinga is Africa’s first armed, all-women anti-poaching unit. The community-driven conservation model is opened exclusively to unemployed mothers, abandoned wives, survivors of sexual and physical abuse, widows and orphans, empowering them to make a living while protecting large networks of wilderness areas.
The female rangers work to protect one of Africa’s largest remaining elephant populations in the Lower Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. A critical area that has lost 40 percent of its elephants during the last 16 years, mainly to poaching. – This project is amazing in so many ways. How it works with female empowerment, the community and wildlife conservation. Most of these women support their entire family with the salary from this job. So many people and animals now have better lives because of Akashinga. I’m proud that we are doing something to contribute, says Cassandra.
MINI INTERVIEW WITHPRIMROSE MAZURU
Primrose, 23 years old, has worked as a ranger for 2 years. Here she is with her daughter Locadiah 3 years.
How long have you worked as a Akashinga ranger? – 2 years. What kind of work do you do? – I save wildlife from poachers. What was life before you became a ranger? – Before my life was tough and filled with misery, and I didn’t have any source of money to make it better. I didn’t know of the importance of wildlife conservation, but from the day I got educated about wildlife and a job to support myself my life changed. What is a normal day at work? – We patrol large areas and I expect to see different types of animals. Then I know I’m working hard, because I have reduced the rate of poaching - as I now see animals everywhere which I never seen before. Does your job ever make you afraid? – No.
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