THE IZINDLOVU STORY
20 years ago we got married and for our honeymoon we travelled through South-Africa, passing a little village Hoedspruit on our way to the Krugerpark.
We went back in July of 2019 to show our children the beauty of South-Africa. Hoedspruit seemed the perfect place to visit the beautiful Blyde river Canyon and the Krugerpark. As part of our trip, we visited HESC, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
HESC is a non-profit organisation established by Lente Roode and is one of the leaders in the breeding and research of endangered species. Besides this, the centre provides a safe haven for orphaned and sick animals and also offers an education centre where the public and our younger generation can learn about endangered species by observing them at close range.
We were really impressed about the work done at the centre. When we arrived back home, we visited the website of HESC and came across a new project they were setting up to help orphaned elephants, HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development).
HERD, founded by Adine Roode, was searching for donations with their 1000 hearts campaign. As they did not have assembled a lot of donations, we thought we could do something extra from Belgium. We set up a gofundme page and send it to all of our friends. We raised 73 hearts from September until November 2019. Mainwhile our contact with the team of HERD grew.
As we wanted to celebrate our 20 years of marriage in South-Africa, we went back in November. Adine Roode invited us to meet up with the elephants of the Jabulani herd and a part of the team. It was an incredible experience to meet the herd and the enthusiastic and dedicated people who take care of them! The personal thank-you we received when giving away the already acquired contributions was heart-warming!
At that moment we also had the privilege to visit the orphanage and meet the orphan elephant Mopane.
When we came back home, we decided we had to do more for HERD. So we decided to set up Izindlovu Fund. With the Fund we have more possibilities to organise events and raise funds with invoice from companies.
By the end of December, Adine Roode personally called us with the sad news that the orphan elephant Mopane contracted a virus and passed away. Two years of hard work were done to raise Mopane. For months he received 2 liters of milk from the bottle 8 times a day. Caregivers slept with little Mopane and were busy with it day and night. The day Mopane would integrate into the Jabulani herd had arrived. The entire team was greatly affected by his death.
70% of all elephants have disappeared in a period of 40 years. The WWF estimate that around 20,000 African elephants are being killed each year for their ivory – that’s an average of 55 a day. If we go on there will be no elephants anymore in 2040.
Mopane is our inspiration to continu.