Helena Kriel was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a child, holidays were spent in the bush, and she developed a deep love for animals. She worked in television and theater in South Africa before going to Los Angeles. She won a Steven Spielberg award and became a working screenwriter, with two produced movies to her credit. She mentors screenwriters in the Spalding University MFA program.
She founded her first non-profit, Walk for the Underdog, in 2004 which raised awareness for abused and homeless dogs. An annual event was held that brought thousands of people together, raising substantial funds for dog rescue. She loves animals, and has worked with baby birds, skunks, possums, chimpanzees and has spent time with the remarkable pangolin. But her commitment is to rhinos and she has spent many thousands of hours in their company.
A passion for nature and respect for all wild creatures are the common threads linking the multiple phases of David Walker’s personal and professional life. These include: a career as an award-winning journalist, writer and editor, media relations consultant, a non-profit association manager and director, Peace Corps Volunteer and environmentalist. This father of two sons is deeply committed to preserving ecosystems and saving from extinction the planet’s iconic species, including rhinos.
Carla is a native New Englander who holds a BS in Biology and an MS in Zoology. An animal lover from a young age, wildlife conservation became her passion after working on multiple sea turtle projects throughout the southern US and the Caribbean. In November 2016, she volunteered at the CFW rhino sanctuary, where she was lucky enough to be the ‘mom’ to Jemu. Since then, she has returned to CFW, and has also volunteered at a big cat sanctuary in South Africa, a gorilla sanctuary in Gabon and two wildlife sanctuaries in Zimbabwe. She hopes to continue to help wildlife in need for as long as she can!
I am an amateur wildlife photographer that totally adores rhinos. Leopards were my original target but soon I got focussed on the plight of our rhino. Once you have heard those rhino orphan babies cries you will never forget it. These beautiful gentle sentinel beings need our help. I want to help them. And I’m going to try and do it the one way I can. By making people aware of their plight and by donating to foundations that I trust with my photography. My goal is to be a photographer for endangered animals.
Sarah Clayton is the Managing Director of Clayton Communications. Creative and innovative in her approach and thinking, Sarah has grown her ICT, security and automation tech company to be a main player on the African stage. With offices in South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda and operations across the continent, Sarah is conversant with the cutting-edge technological developments and use cases across a variety of environments. A fierce animal advocate, Sarah founded the Cactus Foundation animal sanctuary in Zambia after she was made aware of a dog that had been set alight by a group of impoverished children. Working passionately and tirelessly for the protection of animals, Sarah is committed to bringing her acumen and experience with security and tech to the fight against poaching.
Helen Lunn wears a number of hats that center around her four loves – research, writing, art, and music. She has worked at both UCT and Wits, coordinated parties and TV work for Oprah, written TV scripts, reconstructed and edited DRUM magazine from its seminal decade of the fifties for Jim Bailey, and has written extensively for the popular press. She has a Ph.D. in Musicology and co-authored The Dance of the Dung Beetles in 2019. She is delighted to be able to use her love of writing for a cause she believes in. Knowing how successful Ian Player was in bringing rhinos back from the brink, she believes that despite the odds the species can once again be saved.
Hi! My name is Chané Smit. I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Photographer with a strong passion for art and animals. When I was younger it was my dream to be out in the field and help rescue our beautiful animals, but when that dream fell through I relied on my love of art to help me through the existential crisis I was facing. Graphic Design and Photography quickly became my new passion, but still I had this emptiness inside me I couldn’t shake. It wasn’t until I found Baby Rhino Rescue and started designing with them that I felt the emptiness start to subside. Two of my passions collide and I couldn’t be happier. Finally I could help our beautiful rhinos by using my art. I may not be in the field, but though little, I still have my part and I am proud to be a Baby Rhino Rescue contributor!
Born in Britain, Ross Court is committed to South Africa. A technology and security expert, he is a director at Clayton Communications. With decades of experience in the security sector, Ross can bring insider acumen to the fight against poachers. Working with Sarah Clayton in the founding and management of Cactus Foundation, Ross is committed to animal welfare.
Marilyn was trained as a transpersonal therapist and worked in the field of psychology as a wilderness therapist in traumatized communities in South Africa. In 2002 Marilyn responded to the call to heal. She trained as an African traditional Healer in the Venda tradition using plant medicine. She furthered her training in Soweto in 2010 in the Tsonga Tradition, in the field of ancestral healing with nature. She has been practicing as a traditional healer for twenty years. She considers herself a “teacher of nature’s way” where everything has a right to life. Marilyn was taught that to harm the earth is to harm ourselves. Deeply committed to animals, she works with pangolins and has joined the fight to keep rhinos from extinction. Marilyn brings prayer and the African modality of talking to the ancestors as a protection to the communities in which she works.
Ryan was born in England and now lives in Canada. He earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Content Creation and Broadcast. He’s worked in video production for over ten years in sport, music, and documentaries. It was directing a documentary traveling from South Africa to Kenya that stirred his passion for wildlife conservation. Filming with an anti-poaching team in Malawi, he witnessed first hand the devastation of poaching. Ryan is extremely excited to be a part of the BRR team in helping save the rhino from extinction.
I am a native Coloradan where I still live today with my family. An animal lover from a young age, I have always loved nature and spending time with and learning about all creatures, from small insects to large, majestic rhinos. I have proudly worked with and sponsored several animal rescue programs in the past and am a believer in conservation and building love and mutual respect for all animals and the ecosystems we share. My sister Kelly Weatherman has been involved with BRR for a number of years and her experience with these amazing animals attracted me to start helping with fundraisers and spreading awareness. In 2021, when I was invited to join Seha’s Fund, I found a global team of people unlike any other I have ever been a part of. The joys and wins for Seha and the other rhinos which BRR and its donors have supported are truly astonishing. This is a team of people who love nature, love conservation, and love rhinos. I am lucky to be a small part of it.
Dionne was born in Johannesburg and has always had a passion for nature. Over the past few years she has watched how poaching has ravaged wildlife globally but felt helpless in the call to action, compounded by the fear of not being able to cope with the severity of the situation. After reading Meditating with Rhinos and feeling the connection to these magnificent animals through Helena’s own words, Dionne knew that she had found a calling. As the founder of one of SA’s leading PR firms, TPW Agency, Dionne has decided to bring the power of her company to www.babyrhinorescue.org to assist in creating awareness on a global scale.
Rene became connected to nature from an early age in South Africa. Frequent visits to the Kruger National Park cemented her love for Africa’s wildlife. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is a Master Gardener. She worked with Helena Kriel to develop Walk for the Underdog in Los Angeles. Rene holds a Ph.D in English literature.