By Lucy Vigne Camm
At the end of last term, on 5 July 2012, Brookhouse Prep School celebrated a day to consider the environment and wildlife conservation, with their theme this year being rhinos. The school is part of the round square associations of schools of which there are over 60 world-wide. Their educational philosophy supports not only the usual concept of preparing students for higher education, but also as places to prepare children for life.
Earlier this year, in April 2012, Brookhouse School hosted an international Round Square schools’ conference whose theme was ‘no existence without co-existence’ to look at potential solutions to the challenges facing Africa today. Every year, Brookhouse devotes a day for the pupils to consider a topic using their round square ethos, IDEALS, which stands for: I for Internationalism, D for democracy, E for environment, A for adventure, L for leadership and S for Service. Last year they learned about Big Cats and this year the theme was rhinos.
The prep school filed into the auditorium as the morning began, dancing their way to their seats as a rhino cartoon with a catchy song played on the big screen overhead. Wildlife conservationist, Lucy Vigne Camm, gave a power point presentation about rhinos and their plight. The children learned there were two species in Africa (the black and white rhinos) that have two horns – the first being a browser and the second a grazer, and that there are three species in Asia (the greater one-horned in India and Nepal, the Sumatran rhino in Indonesia and Malaysia and the lesser one-horned rhino found only on the island of Java in Indonesia). The children learned that all rhinos are unique in having one or two horns on their noses, and it is this that also makes them all endangered – they are poached for the rhino horn trade. Demand for rhino horn has been soaring once more in Asia, especially in China and Vietnam in the last five years with an economic boom occurring in these two countries and a growing consumer wish to buy rhino horn as an ingredient for traditional Chinese medicine and newly hyped up ‘miracle’ cures.