HO CHI MINH CITY (August 13, 2015) — In the newest effort of the “Stop Using Rhino Horn” campaign, approximately 20 famous Vietnamese artists and celebrities were present at Ben Thanh Theatre, District 1 to participate in the TV show named “The Call of the Wild”. This was a special musical and interactive art show held by WildAid, Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE), and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in association with Vietnam Television (VTV) to convey the importance of protecting rhino populations worldwide through music.

The two-hour show featured superstars of Vietnam’s entertainment industry such as Thanh Bui, Ngoc Tuyen, Mai Khoi, Phuong Vy, Uyen Linh, Dong Nhi, Hoang Thuy Linh, Nguyen Hai Yen, Hoang Quyen, Ha Okio, Ha Anh Tuan, Ho Trung Dung, Quoc Thien, Tang Nhat Tue, dance group LIFE and an acapella group of 50 students from SOUL Music and Performing Arts Academy (SMPAA). Other guests included actress Hong Anh and Mrs World’s second runner-up Thu Huong, both of whom have supported the campaign since its inception, as well as distinguished guests representing the campaign’s business and media partners, together with over 1,000 young audience members in HCMC.

With featured performances including popular songs about love and nature, and video messages about rhino protection, this event aimed to engage Vietnamese youth by increasing their understanding of the poaching crisis, encouraging them to take a stand and inspiring them to develop their own unique solution to one of Vietnam’s most serious environmental problems: the illegal trade and consumption of rhino horn. We believe that music has the power to guide young people to become ambassadors for nature who will protect rhinos as well as other endangered species, and preserve Vietnam’s natural heritage for future generations.

Through this event, the Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign also hopes to contribute to improving the image of Vietnam in the eyes of international communities, by conveying a positive image of young people in Vietnam taking action for nature conservation and contributing to the country’s sustainable development.

“When I arrived in South Africa, being a Vietnamese, I was held for interviews for 4 hours at the airport before immigration. I felt I was treated like a criminal. Later, when I learned about and witnessed with my own eyes the horrible massacre of the rhino in South Africa, I got to understand why”, musician-singer Thanh Bùi shared his experience after his trip to South Africa in April 2014.“However, I do not want the Vietnamese youths to have bad experiences. They do not deserve that. In July 2015, 22 Vietnamese young people had a chance to visit South Africa, and the invaluable experiences they had there changed their whole life paradigms and viewpoints, and they became 22 excellent ambassadors bringing messages of true love of nature to their families and community”.

In the coming months, WildAid, AWF and CHANGE will scale up their campaign activities and partnerships to have a larger impact among,a wider audience. Targeting both current and potential users of rhino horn, and through a series of intensive activities taking place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the campaign’s messages will reach CEOs, doctors and patients in hospitals, and Buddhist followers. Social media campaigns, TV specials and comedic videos featuring the most popular producers, artists and comedians will help correct the public’s misconceptions about rhinos horn’s medicinal properties.

The Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign receives the generous support from a number of media agencies and outlets, including Vietnam Television (VTV), Digital Vietnam Television (VTC), An Vien Television, Star Media, Chicilon Media, FBNC Channel, YanTV, B Channel, TVShopping, Dat Viet Newspaper, Nhip Cau Dau Tu Magazine, Dep Magazine, The Thao Van Hoa & Dan Ong Magazine, Doanh Nhan Magazine, Outlook Magazine, Cam nang mua sam Magazine, Phong cach doanh nhan Magazine, Oi Viet Nam, XoneFM Radio Channel, POPs Vietnam, online news such as tinmoitruong.vn, tiep thi va tieu dung (tttd.vn), hotnow.vn, chame.vn, and creative partner Creative Hunts.

For more information, visit http://www.wildaidvietnam.org, http://www.wildaid.org/rhinos or https://www.facebook.com/WildAidVietnam.

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Note to editor:

Stop Using Rhino Horn is a three-year campaign from 2014 to 2016, initiated by WildAid to reduce rhino horn demand in Vietnam — a response to the dramatic decline in the world’s rhino populations in recent years. Last year, the campaign received the support of many famous people in Vietnam as ambassadors and advocates to send the message to millions of people. In 2014, the number of rhinos killed in Africa for consumption in Asian countries, especially Vietnam and China, reached a record-breaking number of 1215 individuals.

In order to raise public awareness, ambassadors of this campaign have used their influence to reach out and change the unfounded belief of the Vietnamese in rhino horn’s healing power. The biggest names in Vietnam showbiz — such as singer-songwriter Thanh Bui, singer Thu Minh, Duc Tuan, Tung Duong and Le Cat Trong Ly, musician Quoc Trung, Do Bao, actress Hong Anh Minh Page, MC-Producer Anh Tuan, MC Phan Anh, Mrs World second runner-up Thu Huong, writer Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc and many others — have contributed their time and effort in series of strategic activities in this campaign. These activities include: appearing in a PSA broadcasted on dozens of TV channels and public advertising panels; communicating with millions of their followers on social media channels; participating in Forum Theatre Dramas in schools with the presence of 10,000 students, teachers and parents; and speaking on TV talk shows and business events.

About WildAid

WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetime, working with hundreds of Asian and Western political figures, celebrities, and business leaders, including the Duke of Cambridge, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, Edward Norton and Sir Richard Branson. WildAid’s public service messages and educational initiatives reach hundreds of millions of people a week in Asia through donated media space. For more information, visit www.wildaid.org.

About African Wildlife Foundation

Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF’s programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa’s people. Since its inception, AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa’s unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kenya and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. For more information, visit www.awf.org, follow us on Twitter @AWF_Official or @awf_media, and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AfricanWildlifeFoundation.

About CHANGE

Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) – a local non-profit organization under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), is the official partner of WildAid’s program “When the buying stops, the killing can too” in Vietnam. CHANGE is also the official patron of the grassroots climate change movement 350.org Vietnam. Its mission is to create sustainable changes in the environmental and development fields through creative communications; building capacity and creating opportunities for the youth to build local movements and mobilize and engage business corporations, communities, and governments in working out appropriate solutions and policies. For more information, visit www.changevn.org; and find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CHANGEvn

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Contact:

  • Lê Trần Khánh Vy

Communications Coordinator

Tel: (+84) 1689 901 772

Email : vyle@changevn.org

  • Thới Thị Châu Nhi

Campaign Coordinator

Tel: (+84) 977092077

Email: nhithoi@changevn..org

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