Educate to Advocate

Educate students to advocate for conservation efforts in their own backyard!
Sponsor local South African students to see rhino conservation in action!


a guest blog by The Backyard Bellistons

As teachers in inner-city schools in Florida, we know first-hand that many students rarely get to see the Everglades, let alone, see an alligator. This is the same with the communities near South Africa’s game reserves. Despite living in such close proximity, many of the local children have never seen a rhino, elephant, or giraffe. Poaching is dangerous, but it is lucrative. Some of the poachers are as young as 20 years old! We believe education is the first step to help create wildlife conservation advocates. When a community has a sense of pride in its wildlife, poaching becomes less alluring.

Please help us launch this Educate to Advocate program by sponsoring a local boy and girl in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, who are top students in life sciences, so they can be the voices of their communities in their own backyard. They are the ones who will change the world for the better. 

Conservation Education Sponsorship

Donations will be used to cover the costs of a vehicle game drive and lunch at a South African game reserve for the selected learners. The program will also help fund a helicopter, veterinarian, and rhino tracking collar. Any extra donations will cover the daily operating cost (R5,000/US$340/€280/£250) of the Global Conservation Force anti-poaching unit—rangers, K9s, and horses—based in South Africa.


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3 anti-poaching rangers and 2 horses stand behind a 9 year old boy with 2 rangers kneeling on either side

Drew Belliston, winner of the 2020 Global Conservation Force Rhino Conservation Challenge, with anti-poaching rangers in South Africa.


About The Backyard Bellistons

We’re Devin, Krysta, Drew (8), and Elizabeth (4), also known as the Backyard Bellistons (@backyardbellistons). During the pandemic, Drew and Elizabeth teamed up, determined to save the rhinos after watching a Brave Wilderness episode with Coyote Peterson. They joined Global Conservation Force’s Rhino Conservation Challenge in 2020. Drew prepared a message together with his sister and made phone calls and videos to reach family and friends to raise money. What came from that was amazing support and contributions from our community and extended friends! 

We had the wonderful opportunity to go to South Africa and see these majestic rhinos, including Thandi (who survived a horrendous poacher attack). We have traveled to many places in North and South America, but this experience was unforgettable and impactful. We saw the work that the talented and hard working dogs, rangers, horses, and GCF volunteers put in. We met Dr. Fowlds, the honorable vet who showed Drew the procedures that have helped rhinos all over South Africa.


Thank you for joining us in giving back to students locally! No amount is too small. Please share this with everyone you know.


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