I want to make a difference. I’m totally OVER being an armchair activist.
There, I said it. I’m lazy.
‘I stay where it’s safe. Put the odd coin in a tin, recycle, conserve water as much as we can, try to live with as little plastic and crap as possible and help out when/where ever I can. But it’s not nearly enough. Not by a long shot.’
These thoughts (and about a bazillion others) swirl round in my head daily. Not just related to who I am as a person, but how my children perceive me too. Children learn from what we do, not what we say. This has become sharply evident to me this year as I began homeschooling our two youngest boys Knox (recently turned 5) and Zac (3) – (after whom our Bazil and Sox Range are named).
“HOW THE HELL DO WE GUIDE THESE KIDS TO BEING BETTER PEOPLE?!”
“Our world is so messed up and just about everything they see is misleading and corruptive, I feel so damn lost most days, baby!” I asked my husband, Luke, perhaps just a little over passionately (that’s a thing with me) one night recently. And in his massively calm and stoic way he said, “love, we SHOW them. We just show them. We make sure that every day, we are better people than we were the day before. We evolve, and they will grow and evolve with us.”
He’s right. So I have just changed the way I think. Completely. I’m done THINKING of ways to make a difference. I’m finding ways to DO it.
I’ll tell it straight. I detest change. But in the last five years, there has been a constant tsunami of it, and I am learning to use that flow to get where I need to be.
Last month I made a BIG mistake
At #mamaschool our weeks are themed. I was teaching the Vikings (what we call our two youngest boys) about Primates about a month ago, and the day I am referring to was all about GREAT APES. Gorillas to be specific. I have been a Diane Fossey devotee and fangirl since I was a little girl myself. Getting to teach your kids about your idols is an honor, so this was a lesson I put my everything into. The boys were entranced and adored the lesson. When we were done, Zac (3), (who has slew nicknames – Zaz, Basil, Zazoo, Bazzy-) came to me quietly and said “Mom. Can you draw me a Karilla, please?”
“Uhmmm. I’m not sure my boy, let me try”
I was a little way in with the sketch and then this happened…
What had I done!?
I was utterly gutted that I had affected him this way. I have never seen my littlest boy this upset. Literally never. He sobbed like he’d lost one of us. His people. And then I realized, when you’re really little, you haven’t defined who are “YOUR PEOPLE/BEINGS” are yet, so the thought of losing a Karilla, WAS like losing one of his tribe. And it HURT. This is a fierce and real beauty that we lose as we grow. Children don’t know hate or dislike, they learn it. And fostering inclusion, compassion and the will to do good is something I CAN do.
Time to get out of my armchair. Time to DO something. He learns by how I live. Time to make a difference. No matter how small.
Let’s fix this
And So, BAZZY was born. Zac has named him, peered over my shoulder, and directed me (rather bossily) on an off for the few weeks it’s taken to get him to a place where Zac feels “The people can see him now Mom. He can help us help the Karillas now”.
Diane Fossy’s legacy lives on in Rwanda. And they are always needing support, donations and for people to raise awareness across the globe about these incredible creatures that are sadly, truly endangered. I won’t go into too much detail here about the difficulties these Foundations/Groups face, but I will say that it is an ongoing effort, and will need to remain so for Gorillas to stay protected and to thrive on this planet. They not only work with the remaining Gorilla populations in both Rwanda and the DRC, but also the communities that border on the Karisoke area. That in itself is a massive undertaking.
Here’s how we can ALL make a difference
Go. Read. Learn. There will be links to two websites connected to organizations, at the end of this post that function to uphold Diane Fossey’s legacy and continue her crucial work for the Gorillas. They are both filled with CORRECT facts, ways to help and if you have kids, bottomless ways to teach them about these phenomenal furry giants.
Here’s how OUR LITTLE TRIBE are choosing to make a difference if you’d like to support us
If you’re not up for searching web pages for info that’s ok too. We have decided to use BAZZY as our way of raising funds to donate to The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
I’ve taken the liberty of giving BAZZY a second name. It’s KWIZERA. Kwizera means “to have hope or believe” in Kinyarwanda, which is the native tongue spoken in Rwanda, where BAZZY’s family are from.
So, we are donating the net profit from each sale of a BAZZY KWIZERA print to The Diane Fossey Foundation, for as long as we are able to.
Here’s EXACTLY how
This is Kundurwanda. He and his mama Ishema and two siblings are a part of Silverback, Pablo’s Group. Kundurwanda’s name means “Love Rwanda” and we are going to symbolically “adopt” him for Zac (well, for our whole little tribe really). It costs $40 to symbolically adopt through the foundation. This is an excerpt from the Gorillafund.org site that explains more about the adoption
“When you adopt a gorilla, you’ll immediately receive in your email inbox:
- a personalized, ready-to-display, adoption certificate with a full-color image of your gorilla
- a profile with full-color images of your gorilla and detailed information straight from the field
- an e-subscription to the Gorilla Journal
- a special video of your new family member!
In addition, you will also receive exclusive periodic updates throughout the year, including photos, videos, letters from the field, and more!”
HOW TOTALLY AWESOME!?
We will get to learn more about him and his troop as they grow and live! What an absolute honor and treat! This little city bound Tribe is SO excited to see and learn more about our Jungle family once we have ‘adopted’ Kundurwanda.
Once we have sold enough prints to allow us to adopt Kurduwanda, we will just continue to donate all the net profits of BAZZY KWIZERA’s print sales to the foundation. Plain and simple.
Wanna make a difference to?
You’ll find BAZZY KWIZERA in our Ma Luna Shop on our site. His prints are currently sold as A4 size only (this may change over time) and will cost R100 each. Shipping to anywhere in South Africa is R65. So for under R200 (the cost of a few beers at the pub, a quick brekkie stop or even less than a lipstick, depending on what brand you use), you are enabling a really dinky human to help some really massive friends of his.
*net profit on every print is R88
Visit BAZZY KWIZERA (and maybe invite him home?) HERE
Here’s the thing
It really isn’t THAT hard to just make a difference. We totally over think stuff (well, I do) It doesn’t have to be grand. You don’t need to be famous. You don’t need to yell and rant. You don’t need to martyr yourself. It CAN be fun. All you really need to do is CARE. And be willing to GIVE. In some way. Any old way you can really. If it’s time, effort, reach, funding, networking, sharing, creating, hands on, hands off, whatever. Your way is your way. As long as you do it.
YOU make a difference.
And we would be beyond honored if you would assist one little boy, who’s heart wish is to make a difference for his tribe. His troop. His Korillas.
Keen to learn more, or help in your own way?
These two sites are linked to upholding Dr. Diane Fossey’s formidable legacy
You can follow GorrillaFund/The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International on INSTAGRAM too
or search for the hashtag #savegorillas to find more folks who are doing good, and support them too.
If you perhaps know
I found the following image on Google when looking for inspiration to create BAZZY KWIZERA, and despite searching for a literal age (over 4 million iterations of it on Google), cannot definitively find anyone to attribute the image to. I’d love to let them know their amazing capture inspired our sketch for this big guy, and thank them. So, if you do know who the image belongs to, please let me know, thanks!
With love, respect and kindness,
until next time
x x x