Zimbabwean Partners with a 10-Year-Old American Author and Animal Advocate to launch a Global Essay Competition for a book to support Africa’s wildlife
Nicholas Holme was born in Zimbabwe where his love for wildlife and the African bush began. Nick spent many holidays in the Zambezi Valley, exploring its unique ecosystem that includes Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, and Mana Pools.
Today, living in the U.K., Nick is determined to play his part in ensuring that Africa’s wildlife is protected for generations to come. With the global Covid-19 pandemic, this is more urgent than ever before.
“The global pandemic has placed animals under increased pressure from poaching. Tourism and its revenue have come to a complete stop. Anti-poaching units need all the help they can get and local communities need more support to prevent human-wildlife conflict. We have to ensure that the rangers on the ground and the local communities get our support to preserve animals for future generations,” says Nick.
With this urgency in mind, Nick discovered a 10-year-old Author and Animal Advocate in America named Kate Gilman Williams, Founder of Kids Can Save Animals.
“I researched Kate and found that she is the youngest author in history to release a global title that is 100 percent philanthropic, with her sales supporting conservation in Africa. This young girl’s motto is “Advocacy has no age limit,” explains Nick. “And this got me thinking – what if kids and teens could play an active role in saving wildlife during this time?”
Nick mapped out a campaign called #WhatIWantToTellYou. The initiative would include a global essay contest for kids ages 8-16 to send in an essay of 250-500 words, with accompanying photos or art, expressing their love for a favourite African animal and/or a favourite memory of Africa and why we must protect the animals there. These essays will be put up on the website and then a panel of judges will choose the top 200, which will then be made into a book. Nick reached out to The Zambezi Elephant Fund in Zimbabwe, who agreed to receive the proceeds of all sales from the book to help support their efforts in protecting the wildlife and its habitat. Nick built a website and the platform for kids to submit their entries. All he needed next was a spokesperson.
“I placed a call to America and Kate agreed that indeed, kids and teens can play an active role in saving wildlife and wild spaces. Kate signed on to be the ‘Chief Youth Advocate’ for this global essay competition and will sit on the final selection panel,” said Nick.
Kate created a video to promote the essay contest and got busy spreading the word. “All kids have a natural love for animals,” she explains. “With a little help, it is easy to turn this love into advocacy. I love this project because kids can become a published author and their words will help elephants and other wild animals! Kids around the world are stuck at home this summer with little to do. I can’t think of a better summer project than this!”
Kate insisted the project be global in scope, one that would welcome all to enter in their own spoken language. “Wouldn’t it be cool if kids from every continent could submit an essay!”
James Egremont-Lee, Executive Director of The Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF), was thrilled to be named the recipient of future sales from this child-written book. “At ZEF we work to support those in the field who are combating poaching and advancing human-wildlife coexistence. We want to preserve the wild spaces whilst promoting prosperity within local communities, so that they can live in harmony with wild animals, especially elephants,” said James. “Zimbabwe is home to the second largest elephant population in Africa and we have seen an increase of poaching since lockdown. This project allows children and teens to be actively involved in saving wildlife and wild spaces.”
To cover more ground in Africa, Kate and Nick recruited Michelle Campbell, Co-Founder of a conservation organisation in South Africa called Wild Wonderful World. Kate and Michelle co-wrote “Let’s Go On Safari” one year ago.
“I was Kate’s guide when she was 7 years old. She turned our adventures into a book which we co-wrote and released globally this year,” explains Michelle. “I am so excited to support this essay competition. My goal is to connect families around the world with conservation projects in Africa through education, exposure, and conservation-focused safaris. A project like this places children at the centre of animal activism and I am thrilled to promote it.”
To learn more about this essay competition, please visit https://www.worldwildlifeweb.net/the-book.html
For more information about the #WhatIWantToTellYou book initiative, please contact Nick Holme on:
Tel/WhatsApp: +44 (0)7853 408115 Email: email@example.com