Incredible stories of involvement in one community, environment, marine, wildlife and other areas of life.
GET inVOLVED: Two South Africans taken hostage by Somali Pirates!
The shocking news of two South African yacht crew members, Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz, who were captured 16 months ago by Somali pirates, at the entrance to the Mozambique/ Madagascar Channel, has made headlines after Diplomatic attempts by the South African Government, to secure their release, have been unsuccessful.

Family members of the hostages are now urgently appealing to all South African to help save their lives by helping them to raise US $4 million, which the pirates are demanding for their release. This staggering amount - especially in Rand terms - was dropped in March 2011, and then raised again after interference with negotiations.

If you would like to help save Bruno and Debbie, go to or donate R10 per sms and sms SOS to 38417 followed by your name.
TFG (The Foschini Group) enlist to save private Rhino!
Fashion meets conservation - cyclists at this year's Argus Cycle tour will have the chance to don cycling gear that will raise awareness and add money to the rehabilitation of rhinos in South Africa. The Foschini Group (TFG) have produced branded cycling shirts for the upcoming event that will be sold at the Saving Private Rhino stand, the sale of the shirts is expected to raise over R100 000 and greater awareness for the plight of rhinos.

Cape Town, South Africa, February 2012: TFG (The Foschini Group) has enlisted in the war to save our rhino by assisting ARC (Aquila Rehabilitation & Conservation Centre) with their fundraising efforts. This follows on from a donation of R201 780 made in 2011.

The initial donation was used to purchase containers to set up a medical boma for Absa, the rhino who was so savagely attacked last year. Unfortunately, Absa died before he could be moved to the medical boma. The containers are now being used to set up a Vet and Conservation Interpretation Centre which is across the road from Aquila Private Game Reserve.

This latest donation will be used to produce branded cycle shirts for the upcoming Argus Cycle Tour. Once made, the shirts are to be sold from the Saving Private Rhino Stand at the Argus Cycle Tour Expo which is being held from 8 - 10 March 2012 at the Good Hope Centre. The sale of the shirts will raise over R100 000, all of which is to be donated back to the Saving Private Rhino Initiative. In addition, the cyclists who buy and wear the shirts for the race will help to raise awareness.

Doug Murray, CEO of TFG says It is our hope that our support as well as that of the public will prevent future rhino poaching and help us to save an important aspect of our environmental heritage.

Searl Derman, CEO of Aquila Private Game Reserve and founder of Saving Private Rhino added: It takes great determination and endurance to cycle a race like the Pick 'n Pay Argus Cycle Tour and it is with the same level of determination and endurance that we have taken on the privilege of protecting our Rhino heritage. I look forward to seeing an army of rhino supporters cycling the Argus. Thank you so much to TFG for their unwavering support of our initiative.
Husqvarna South Africa Supports the K4 Dusi 2012 Paddle for a Limb Initiative

Husqvarna Dusi K4 Team - Setting out to raise funds for prosthetic limbs for youngsters living in the Valley Of A Thousand Hills are (from left) Craig Gibson, Clint Lawson, Shane Wright, Craig Wright.
Photo credit: Gameplan Media
Global leader in outdoor power products, Husqvarna, will be putting its weight behind four courageous paddlers who will be taking on the gruelling 120km The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon in a K4 canoe to raise money for prosthetic limbs for children in the Dusi Valley.

Malcolm Corns, general manager product marketing for Husqvarna South Africa, said that the company recognized the immense challenge faced by the four paddlers. Not only was The Unlimited Dusi regarded as one of the world’s toughest canoe events, but tight corners and rapids in the Umgeni River did not lend themselves to the use of a four man canoe. To date, only four other paddlers have taken to the water for the race in a K4.

The Husqvarna sponsorship of what has become known as the K4 Dusi 2012 Paddle for a Limb Initiative will allow paddlers Shane Wright, Craig Wright, Clint Lawson and Craig Gibson to collect donations that will pay for the manufacture and fitting of prosthetic limbs for between two and four children. The Dusi Valley is home to communities who deal with crippling poverty on a daily basis. Malnourishment and the ravages of HIV/AIDS which has orphaned thousands of children means there is an urgent need to help sick and vulnerable youngsters.

Paddler Shane Wright said that when the four decided to take on this near impossible challenge, they had decided to do it for a good cause. The artificial limbs will be manufactured and fitted by Craig Wright, of CB Wright Inc. Orthotists and Prosthetists in Pietermaritzburg – part of the team that will be tackling the rapids in the K4.

The children who will receive these life changing limbs will be selected with the assistance of The Unlimited Dusi committee member Cameron MacKenzie and Martin Dreyer of the Martin Dreyer Academy.

Husqvarna has supported canoeing over the past decade, having sponsored canoe races and paddlers previously. We believe that there is not only a natural fit between our outdoor power product brand and the adventurous, rugged nature of the sport of paddling but also that this initiative is a truly worthy cause. We'd like to encourage members of the public to support the K4 team through donations to the fund, said Corns.

Wright said that he and his team were putting in a great deal of extra work in preparation for The Unlimited Dusi 2012 which kicks off from Camps Drift on February 16 and ends at Durban’s Blue Lagoon on the 18th. He said that the four would have to run and 'portage' the K4 far more than the singles and doubles who would be taking on the Dusi alongside them. Like Husqvarna, we would like to invite you to support our efforts! The kids of the Valley need all the help they can get, said Wright.

Banking details for those wishing to pledge their support in the form of donations are:
Craig Gibson Family Trust
Acc no: 62179904175
Branch: Midlands Mall/Branch code: 257355 – (Fax proof of payment to 086 613 6444)

The trust will be controlled and audited by Guy W. McEwen CA(SA).

For more information:
Husqvarna -
Martin Dreyer of the Martin Dreyer Academy –
The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon -
KZN ScienCentre Hands over donation to SA Guide Dogs Association
The KZN ScienCentre handed over a cheque worth R2454.10 to the SA Guide Dog Association at the ScienCentre's premises in the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Wednesday, 11 January 2012. The SA Guide Dog Association played a central role in the KZN ScienCentre's December 2011 'Science Makes Sense' holiday programme, collaborating with the educators at the Centre to host the 'Significance of Sight' workshops.

According to Nazley Kast, Acting Education Manager at the KZN ScienCentre, the donation is a small contribution that we as a non-profit organization (NPO) can make towards the tremendous cause of a fellow NPO. Their involvement in our December 2011 holiday programme, which centered on creating awareness about the five senses, managed to educate our many visitors about blindness and the lives of those who experience this impairment.

The 'Significance of Sight' workshops that were held during December were aimed creating awareness around one of our five senses - sight. Since most people take for granted their ability to see and the effect that seeing has on our everyday lives, the workshop was intended to introduce participants to blindness through a number of fun-filled activities, one of which was Blind Man's Bluff. Here, visitors explored the KZN ScienCentre touch and feel maze without their sense of sight. After a presentation and demonstration by representatives from the SA Guide Dogs Association, two lucky visitors would get the chance to navigate the maze with the help of a highly trained guide dog.

Diane Turner of SA Guide Dog Association said that our collaboration with the KZN ScienCentre was fantastic for raising awareness amongst children about the difficulties that blind people deal with everyday. Although it was done in a fun way, I believe that after wandering around blindfolded they really appreciated the way the Guide Dogs whizzed them around the Blind Man's Bluff course.

Those who wish to become part of the KZN ScienCentre's online community are encouraged to 'Like' KZN ScienCentre on Facebook, follow @KZNScienCentre on Twitter, or visit the KZN ScienCentre at the Gateway Theatre Shopping website at As a registered non-profit organization, all funds received by the KZN ScienCentre directly support its educational programmes and exhibits. For further enquiries, the KZN ScienCentre front desk can be contacted on 031-5668040.
Kingsley Holgate and team head into the Great African Rift Valley

The colourful explorer, Kingley Holgate, has a new mission: he's heading into the Great African Rift Valley. This year-long expedition is as much an African adventure as a humanitarian initiative. Penetrating remote regions, Holgate's team focuses on malaria prevention, the distribution of spectacles to poor-sighted people and education around waterborne diseases. more
The SanWild Wildlife Trust was formed in South Africa in September 2000 to develop an emergency wildlife rescue service and a safe sanctuary where rescued animals may live out the rest of their natural lives in safety. Since then more than 5000 wild animals have found a new home in the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary. SanWild also has two stunning private bush camps that are situated in the heart of a 6000 hectare protected wildlife reserve where all of the Big Five can be found.
September 2011 will mark the 8th year of the running of the Quads 4 Quads offroad motorcycle event from Johannesburg to Durban & back. The trip is 1000 km each way, riding to raise funds for The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA).
The organisers, Glenn Foley & Corinne Andrews of Family Adventures social off road club have chosen QASA as the beneficiary of this fundraising ride - and over the last seven years, more than R5 million has been raised through this event. more

> QUADS 4 QUADS 2011: Riders on the Storm
> A Survival Guide to Life in South Africa - Part 1 of 2
> Riders Ride to Rescue Rhinos
> Rhino Skydive a Great Success!
> Vet Books for Africa
> Team SiyaShova Rides for Hear Us Foundation
> Hi-Tech Steps up to the Mark
> 2011 Springs to Cape Town Tour for Education
> Of Bankers, Movie Stars and an Occupational Adventurer
> Birds of Prey Fall Victim to Hard Times
> FLOW: For Love of Water
> Planning is for People who don’t know what they’re doing!
> Do It Day – Dressing of the Princess
> Plastic: Friend or Foe?
> Khutsi’s Mum – Rhino Poaching Must STOP!


> Water Conservation

Looking for kind Ophthalmologists and Optometrists that you
might know...

There are 3 children who urgently need to see an ophthalmologist and or optometrist. They are all foreigners and can't access free health care at the local hospital.

Two pre-schoolers of 4 years old have extremely bad squints and struggle to see properly. Another is in primary school and failed last year as she just can't see enough to do her work or see the blackboard. This child is cared for by her sister as her mother died a few years ago and they are destitute and although her sister maintains that the little girl was born in South Africa there is no birth certificate or even clinic card and the mom may have used a different surname at the hospital as the hospital sister could not find a record of the child's birth.

Do you know if there is a parent who is an ophthalmologist or optometrist or who knows one well to ask to do a little pro bono work?

Email Lindy Harris if you can help


Meals on Wheels 2011

On Sunday, 18 September, in gusty wind conditions over 550 cyclists lined up at the start of the race, which took them out of Heidelberg into the scenic areas surrounding the Suikerbosrand reserve.

The Meals on Wheels Cycle Race is a truly community event. Local churches and community members are involved in producing refreshments and food for the participants and their supporters in the wonderful grounds of the Meals on Wheels facility in Sedaven, Heidelberg - at the foot of the Suikerbosrand.


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