TWELVE-year-old Pace Dawson has begun selling a mixture of African- and home-made jewellery, homewares and craft to help support a Kenyan village and prevent poaching.
This article was first published in the 12 September 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy now for even more news and entertainment.
The Year Six student from Warragul started a market stall to sell the products having been inspired by her aunt, Julie Dawson, who works for the Poachers to Protecters program.
The program seeks to preserve the Tsavo West National Park in Kenya by engaging poachers and charcoal burners with alternative occupations, including jewellery making.
Pace was driven to help prevent poaching by her aunt’s passion and her own love of animals.
“I don’t want the animals to go extinct because they were being poached,” she told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“My aunty gets together with the groups in Kenya [to produce these products].
“They’re made by a group of ladies from a Maasai village that she works with, and she’s done lots of other things for them as well, like she helped build a library there.
“She does lots of really good things there and I’m really happy that I’m raising money for her.”
Pace’s first market was Jindivick earlier this month, which she said was fun.
“[My aunt has] really appreciated this and I think it’s fun going to markets,” she said.
“It was my idea, and then everyone from the family began helping.
“It wasn’t that difficult to organise because we already had most of the stuff, and the other things I made myself, so it was alright.
Pace sold artwork and other crafts she produced herself for the fundraiser.
She said community support for what she was doing was strong.
“It’s been really good and I’ve had a few donations, which has been really nice,” Pace said.
“Lots of people are supporting the fact that we want to stop the poachers.
“Hopefully I’m going to the Rokeby market next weekend as well, and Jindivick again next month.”
But those plans may be interrupted by a potential trip to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with her Dad and his friends.
Pace said she was looking forward to seeing elephants there.
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