To help raise the funds needed for her 12 week placement at Tuli, Nholwasi and Tambotie with A.C.E., Rachel involved her local community to organise a talent and fashion show at her school. After several months of planning, more than twenty singing and dancing acts from Rachel’s school, and other groups in her local town, agreed to perform on the night. These included a local A cappella group called Opus 32, a local rock group called Handsome Jeff and several acts from nearby schools.
A few hours before the event, the assembly hall of Rachel’s school, Highsted Grammar, was transformed into a bustling theatre alive with models in African-fashion outfits, men dressed in animal suites, acrobats and singers. As with any show, there was much tension as to how many people would turn up and whether everything would run smoothly. But with still 45 minute before the show, there was a queue leading into the school car park of people waiting to buy their tickets.
Much to Rachel’s excitement, the show was packed, with some people having to stand at the back. The various performers came on stage to impress the audience with their talents. Mark Harris from African Conservation Experience also gave a short talk to explain to everybody what the event was in aid of and about the projects that Rachel would be working on with A.C.E. After an impressive fashion show with clothes from local shops, the evening finished with a raffle with prizes donated by local organisations and shops.
Apart from being a thoroughly impressive and entertaining night, Rachel’s talent and fashion show was also a successful fundraising event. Charging only £3 per ticket, Rachel raised well over £1000 towards her placement. She kept her expenses low by explaining to people the nature of the show; local organisations and companies therefore offered their services without charging. Rachel’s success just goes to show the potential of fund-raising events to help fund the prices of a conservation placement.
Rachel will be departing for Southern Africa on 2nd September. First she will spend four weeks helping monitor elephant and leopard populations on the Tuli project in Botswana. Then she will be teaching in a local school near to the Kruger National Park and helping with the development of the school. Finally, she will spend four weeks caring for sick, injured and orphaned animals at the Tambotie Wildlife Care Centre. We hope that Rachel’s fundraising efforts will be a source of inspiration to others that need to raise funds for an A.C.E. placement.