Chailey pupil’s fundraising campaign to help wildlife charity
An eight-year-old Chailey pupil with learning difficulties has designed wristbands to keep fundraising for an India-based wildlife conservation charity.
Xavi Barugh, who goes to St Peter’s Primary School, has already raised more than £2,700 for elephants in India who are helped by Wildlife SOS.
His wristbands, which say ‘break the chain, think again’ on them, are the latest effort from Xavi, from Staplefield, to raise more money.
He said: “I want to help the elephants. So far I have raised more than £2,700 for Wildlife SOS, and I want to carry on because the elephants need more space.
“This way I can help Wildlife SOS with their land expansion project.”
After learning about the story of Raju, an elephant who was rescued from a lifetime of abuse by Wildlife SOS, Xavi was determined to help India’s elephants.
He first spearheaded an online fund-raising campaign to support Wildlife SOS, including challenging himself, his mum and his sister to embark on a 50km ‘freedom walk’.
Following the success of his online fundraisers, Xavi decided to design wristbands made from recycled plastic.
The Facebook campaign aims to encourage people to stop and think about how their actions can directly impact animals such as elephants that are forced to work in the entertainment and tourism industry.
Ali Barugh, Xavi’s mum, said: “Only two weeks after Xavi finished his freedom walk, he said to me that we needed to think of a new way to help the elephants.
“Xavi came up with the strapline ‘break the chain, think again, save animals from slavery’ and said he wanted to put this on wristbands to sell.
“To have a son that is so kind, caring and loving and that despite his difficulties, still finds the good in everything and wants to make a difference, makes my heart swell with pride daily.”
Wildlife SOS is a non-profit charity established in 1998, with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress across India.
It actively runs wildlife and nature protection projects to promote conservation, combat poaching & illegal wildlife trade, as well as working in partnership with the Indian government and indigenous communities to create sustainable, alternate livelihoods for former poacher communities.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and chief executive of Wildlife SOS said: “We at Wildlife SOS take immense pride in our young wildlife warriors.
“Xavi’s passion and dedication to helping conserve and safeguard nature are truly inspirational.
“We also thank his mother, his teachers, and his school for being so supportive of his efforts.”
Xavi has had a lot of support from his fellow pupils and teachers, including his teacher Cara Catchpole.
She said: “As his teacher I see the struggles that Xavi faces every day and the distress that these cause him.
“Learning about all that Wildlife SOS does has enabled me to give Xavi focus on the one thing he loves, animals!
“Wildlife SOS has been utterly amazing in embracing this wonderful little man that I love so much and am helping to navigate through this very difficult world.”
Wildlife SOS have described Xavi’s dedication to helping elephants as ‘inspiring’.
However, Xavi isn’t stopping here. He’s also made clay models of Raju and some of Wildlife SOS’ recently rescued elephants like Emma which he’s donated to the Wildlife SOS annual fundraising auction ‘Bid To Be Wild’.
To buy a wristband, make a donation at www.facebook.com/donate/924313411730289/