Responding to the recent rise in elephant poaching, wildlife and conservation charity Care for the Wild has launched a new campaign based on the Tooth Fairy tradition. Inviting children to become a Tooth Fairy Hero by pledging the money they would have received for lost teeth, the charity hopes to raise much needed funds for the fight against elephant poaching and the illegal global ivory trade.
As elephants fight to survive against a massive rise in poaching and the illegal ivory trade, they have gained a powerful new ally – the Tooth Fairy. International wildlife charity Care for the Wild has recruited the much loved mystical heroine for a new campaign which invites children to pledge money they would traditionally receive for their lost teeth, to help protect the elephants from being brutally killed for their tusks.
The charity – established in 1984 and the first to introduce the ‘adopt an animal’ fundraising concept to the UK – is committed to creating powerful connections between individual supporters and its projects in the UK and around the world.
Championed by Care for the Wild’s CEO, Philip Mansbridge, the Tooth Fairy campaign has been designed to raise awareness of the global problem of elephant poaching among a younger audience:
“Today, the illegal wildlife trade is worth in excess of $10 billion annually and the surging demand for ivory from the rapidly growing economies of China, Vietnam and across Asia resulted in more than 25,000 elephants being killed in Africa in 2012, or one every 20 minutes. To connect the story and tradition of the Tooth Fairy – a tradition that millions of children in the UK engage with each year – to the plight of elephants seemed a very natural way to reach out to supporters. The work of Care for the Wild’s anti-poaching teams is hard, emotional, dangerous and tiring, and we believe that it’s important for children to be made aware of the reality of their crucial work.”
“By concentrating on delivering a thought provoking online experience, building the campaign around a much loved character and focusing on such a simple act of kindness, hopefully we can not only raise funds, but educate children of the issues at an earlier age, and inspire the next generation of supporters to save the elephants,” added Mansbridge.
Having called on G8 leaders to commit foreign aid to the fight against elephant poaching as a matter of urgency last month, Care for the Wild has launched the Tooth Fairy campaign with the aim of raising the funds necessary to continue and expand the charity’s own work.
The emotive Tooth Fairy campaign experience – offering a compelling story-telling narrative – has been designed to grab the imagination of children and spark a deeper discovery of conservation. Creative visuals drive a child friendly design and its simplicity focuses on the donations process. Guided through the online journey by the Tooth Fairy character herself, donors are rewarded with a personalised ‘Thank You’ certificate from the Tooth Fairy that they can print out and keep as a memento.
Encouraging conversations between parents and children, the campaign – with the visual design having been created by top creative agency JWT – is set to engage and inspire a younger generation to think about the full spectrum of issues surrounding the illegal ivory trade and encourage them to get behind the important work that Care for the Wild does in this area.
Heralding the problem of elephant poaching as one that runs much deeper than the destruction of the species, Care for the Wild warns that it is increasingly intertwined with growing poverty, ethnic rivalry, terrorism and civil war in affected countries. Around 1,000 rangers have died protecting elephants in just the past ten years, but the human cost goes beyond the national parks. Recent reports claimed that ‘warlord’ Joseph Kony had ordered the killing of elephants to fund his rebel army. Earlier this year, the United Nations recognised wildlife crime as ‘serious transnational organised crime’, in the same bracket as the drugs trade and gun smuggling.
As part of the charity’s work to protect the elephant population, Care for the Wild is involved in many projects across Africa including carrying out anti-poaching patrols supported by armed rangers across notorious poaching hotspots. By recruiting team members from local tribesmen – including those from the colourful Maasai tribe – Care for the Wild encourages support from local people, strengthening the effectiveness and legacy of the charity’s work.
“Whether children go online with parents to pledge their donations, engage with us on Twitter or Facebook, or pick up one of the little Tooth Fairy bags that are being very kindly handed out across the UK at various locations, we hope that they enjoy the experience, connect with the work that we do, and begin to feel part of – and feel strongly about – the fight against elephant poaching and the illegal trade in ivory,” concluded Mansbridge.
To find out more about Care for the Wild’s Tooth Fairy campaign please visit the website and keep up to date with the campaign Tumblr, and on the charity’s Twitter feed @careforthewild and its Facebook page.
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