Mobile Reptile Awareness Campaign

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Mobile Reptile Awareness Campaign

Postby mbotwice » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:58 pm

In view of the stigma against our beloved reptile pets, this is just an initiative to seek input/ideas into how we can solicit funding/sponsorship for establishing a mobile awareness show-targeting township areas etc. I posted the following message on another thread until it was suggested that I open a separate topic for it-hope we can merge heads for a better course:


Just as a matter of interest, have you somehow thought of integrating black communities on awareness programmes?

I have found that most of my people have this never-ending fear/stigma towards reptiles which I have to some degree, been able to convince people I come to contact with that reptiles require the same respect as that thats given to other godly creatures.

I however feel what I have done is very minimal and am interested in starting up a conservation/awareness campaign around reptiles, especially in townships. We had a similar initiative that we started when I was living in Tanzania some years back and it was very successful given the circumstances. It was very easy to set it up then coz we had a closed community and commanded a lot of respect from the locals who relied heavily on our rescue missions.

Just want to share a thought with you on that and see if you would be interested in such an initiative--a mobile solution would be best and we would have to see how solicit funding.
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Postby neko » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:07 pm

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Postby Bushbaby » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:43 am

mbombo, it's an excellent idea and one which we've had in mind for a while.

We have noticed though, that some people have already started changing, but they are few and far between. About a year ago we had a gentleman phone us from Soweto where he had caught a snake and wanted to know what to do with it cause he didn't want to kill it. If we can change more people's way of thinking, it would be awesome.

Possibly starting at schools, will be better, and then moving your way up to adult level. Children can influence their parents quite easily.
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school-campaign

Postby mbotwice » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:58 pm

I agree with you schools would be a best place to start! Can we somewhat confirm the logistic requirements so that once that is finalized, we go ahead with securing a schedule for school visits. Do you have an idea as to how we start to engage people who would want to contribute to the course? I assume that we must start with some concept document which I am more than willing to begin and upload for further moderation.
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Postby Serpy » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:24 pm

I think this is an excellent idea! I'd love to help out with shows and talks for children.

I'm still learning in the reptile world, But i've been keeping reptiles for close to 10 years now and would love to be able to pass on the basic knowledge to children that is needed so that they can help with the conservation of our beloved animals.

mbotwice PM if you'd like any assistance or if you'd like to take me up on my offer.
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Postby mbotwice » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:49 pm

thnx Serpy for showing interest
any help is much welcomed--as i indicated, this is a mere suggestion and have not began anything. it would be good if we can put heads together to see what king of resources we have so that we can strategies around the funding issue. am sure government would be keen on sponsoring provided we have a well-written proposal. i will start on the concept document iin a few weeks after clearing my work. . . but will keep you posted on the progress at all times!
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Postby froot » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:12 am

Mbotwice, I so pleased that we finally have a African member on the forum who not only loves snakes, but also wants to convert other Africans to appreciating reptiles. Your comment about most Africans fearing snakes rings so true and is reflected by the lack of African members on the forum. I am interested in helping you.

Schools is a must. I would imagine that a talk on snakes at a school would generate huge interest among the children and you would be kept there for hours by kids asking questions. You need to present it in such a way that the children would see snakes as another of god's creations that can feel pain and fear. The children need to have an opportunity to touch and maybe even hold various snake species. You should include indigenous species aswell which are the snakes they encounter at their homes. You need to explain to them how snakes benefit a community by controlling pests and the role they play in ecology. You need to gracefully supress negative superstitions and beliefs that result in snakes being killed.
On the topic of traditional beliefs, have a look at this:
http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3296
One of our members sneeked into a muti market in Durban and risked his life taking pictures. The sooner we irradicate this, the better for our animals and I'm not sure where to target the educational program for greatest effectiveness. Again, schools would be a good start.

Just some thoughts that may help you formulate a strategy and the presentation itself. I certainly hope you take this seriously and forge ahead with it.
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Postby swazi » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:50 am

mbotwice,

We have a wonderful presentation that we use for schools, let me have your email address, I will send it to you.
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Postby Bushbaby » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:00 am

Could you forward it to me too please. You can send it to sareptiles@webmail.co.za
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Postby Bushviper » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:14 am

I have done talks at a number of schools in townships. Often you clear the entire hall when you take out the first snake but by the end of the talk they are all gently stroking or holding the python and asking so many questions that it makes your head spin.

Doing this more regularly is a funding problem as most of the schools cannot pay you for the talks. If we could get sponsors then it would be so much easier. It is not impossible to combine this with a show of an owl or a hedgehog too just to drive home the message of how reptiles are an integral part of nature.

Mbotwice if you can get funding I am sure we will have enough people to do talks.

Now what about training guys to do problem reptile removal in the townships?
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My email adress

Postby mbotwice » Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:57 pm

Sorry guys, didn't have connection over the weekend. Pls receive my email address, it would not be wise for us to duplicate what already exists-so pls lets share the templates of whatever information we have. I also like the idea on training and perhaps should form part of the proposal.
As mentioned earlier, I may have a challenge for this month coz I have lots of work. But I should share something with you towards the end of this month. Feel free to send me email at anytime.
regards,
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Postby Bernice » Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:50 pm

This awareness campaign sounds fantastic!!! I would be very interested in helping out, however I cant supply my own 'demonstration' animals, as I dont keep any at this point, but if anyone giving a demo in the PTA area needs an extra pair of hands, I would love to help if I can :)
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Concept document complete

Postby mbotwice » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:56 am

Bushbaby, can you please advise on how to post the document on the forum please!

Sorry for the delay in publishing the first draft-was tide up at work. However have done my 2cents worth. I hope that we can together develop the document further and finalise it before mid next year. The document is in Open Document Format-if you do not have the application, feel free to download it online at http://www.openoffice.org/. I have made it a principle to support only open source software applications-trust you understand,
best regards,

mbo[/url]
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Postby Bushbaby » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:06 am

You can e-mail it to me at sareptiles@webmail.co.za and I will upload it to another website and link it here, if that's okay with you.
http://www.snakebiteassist.co.za
http://www.reptileexpo.co.za
http://www.boaconstrictors.co.za
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Postby Bushbaby » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:14 pm

Mbo, I received the document. I am having trouble uploading it. As soon as I have succeeded, I'll post the link here.
http://www.snakebiteassist.co.za
http://www.reptileexpo.co.za
http://www.boaconstrictors.co.za
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