By Bich Thanh
Australian singer/songwriter Thanh Bui, an ambassador of the “Stop using rhino horn” campaign, has talked with students at the Asian International School in Ho Chi Minh City to improve their awareness on rhino protection. “The smuggling and use of rhino horn has put the species to extinction in Vietnam and threaten to erase it on the world scale,” the Vietnamese-Australian singer said. Pop stars Thanh Bui and Thu Minh are spreading the message to students at 12 international schools and 20 public schools in the city. A competition is being held for the city’s student, namely "Wild rhino competition - Vietnam helping to keep the rhino wild" with winners being awarded a five-day trip to observe wildlife in South Africa. Another contest, "Rhino to school" is being held at nine key primary, secondary and high schools in Ho Chi Minh City from October 27 to November 30. During the program, two vivid dramas are shown to the students - “We try a case” at primary and secondary schools, and “True or false” for high-schoolers. After the dramas, students will participate in debates about the poaching of rhino for horns today. They will also play the roles of rhino and other characters in the dramas to continue to write the story, change the ending, as well as on behalf of rare wildlife species to raise their voice. After ending at schools, the program will continue to accompany students through the contest “Rhino, do not be afraid!”. In this contest, students will be the person to diffuse correct information about rhino to their families, relatives and friends using any form of expression they wish, as well as thoughtful creativity through drawing propaganda posters, making a film, and collecting commitments. These events are parts of the program “No buyer, no killer” carried out by WildAid Organization, AfricanWildlife Foundation and CHANGE to increase understanding of people about the use of wildlife products through the media. Rhino poaching has dramatically increased and 1,004 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa in 2013. The latest report of the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa revealed that at least 787 rhinos were killed from early in the year until the end of September 22, 2014, a considerable contrast to 2007 when a total of only 13 were killed.