South Africa's Rhinos are being poached for their horns in unprecedented numbers. With Kruger National Park on the border of Mozambique - one of the world’s poorest countries, local villagers are lured into killing the Rhino's.
But things are changing. A football league has been created in the region, to help uplift the communities - The Rhino Cup Champions League. In an area of immense poverty, no jobs and little food, the world’s greatest game is bringing people together and giving hope for the future.
The ultimate goal - to stop poaching through football, before it’s too late.
Special thanks to Wild & Free Foundation, Matt Bracken, Rohan Nel and Vincent Barkas.
Video Transcript : THE RHINO CUP TRAILER
"Here we are in South Africa where 85% of the world's remaining rhinos are. We have the perfect storm of extremely poor people living just across the fence of an extremely profitable item, the wildlife reserves. You find a dead rhino, his face is hacked off. People are making a lot of money. You get angry. Tipping points has already happened where more rhinos have been killed than born. Rhino poaching is organized crime. It's definitely pretty much a war against these rhino poachers. Some of the people they are poor maybe they try to get something, some of them they die there in the bush. If we only look at protecting it through the barrel of a gun, our grandchildren aren't gonna see rhino or elephant or anything. It's crime of a very serious nature More and more people expected us to kill people to protect these animals, I couldn't see the logic in it. We're not going to win this war by catching all the poachers and especially killing the poachers Every death of a poacher ,we are making more enemies. We're holding the line here but we're not going to win this war. “We send man to the moon, surely we can find another way to protect the rhino.” - Vincent Barkas so we're going straight to the heart of the rhino poachers, They said “well we could use some help with a soccer league” It’s going to win four more hearts and minds towards wildlife than sending people home in wooden boxes to bury. Uplifting people will actually save the Rhino more than arresting those people. Their life is now enhanced because those rhinos are alive not better because they're dead."
“footballs called the greatest game, so why can't the greatest game save the greatest animal? “ - Vincent Barkas
Wild and Free Foundation (WFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA. WFF is registered as a section 18A public benefit organization (PBO) in South Africa. USA EIN #47-2266595 SA PBO #930061358