We are delighted that the Unbound Project has chosen to shine the spotlight onto C.A.R.E.'s founder Rita Miljo and our Assisting Managing Director Samantha Dewhirst. Visit the story.
"Unbound is a multimedia and book project by acclaimed photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur and Dr. Keri Cronin. Our goal is to recognize and celebrate women at the forefront of animal advocacy, in both a contemporary and historical context. The project will evolve over a few years, as we meet, photograph and interview inspiring, hard-working women around the globe. We invite you to join us on our journey as we get to know these incredible women and hear about their challenges, the dangers they’ve faced, their triumphs, their sacrifices, their joys."
German born Rita Miljo founded C.A.R.E. officially in 1989. Rita was the first person in the world to successfully form a group of hand-reared, rehabilitated primates and release them as a social troop. Rita's passion was baboons and she was tough, determined and outspoken for her cause. Locally, some regarded Rita as an irritant; working for a species that so many despise, but globally her work is revered, and she is appreciated immensely for her contribution to conservation and animal advocacy.
Rita tragically died in 2012 and the story describes the challenges which were met by Managing Director Stephen, Samantha and the team.
"Miljo had left the centre to Scottish-born Munro, who at 28 already had a decade of experience at C.A.R.E. under his belt. But Miljo had always been the decision-maker. They could call on C.A.R.E.’s board members for support, but on the ground, everything was suddenly on the shoulders of Munro, Dewhirst and a small group of other young volunteers.
Day by day, with hope and hard work, they found their way."
"With hundreds of baboons in residence, few paid staff and little money, the centre was facing a sea of complex challenges, from permit issues to aging facilities to adversarial neighbours. Miljo’s death could easily have meant the end of C.A.R.E. But six years on, the centre is thriving, thanks to a group of young people, including Dewhirst, who stepped up when South Africa’s baboons needed them most."
" “The main purpose in my life is to show people that baboons can be beautiful,” she said in Lady Baboon.
“And if I only lived for that, then I had a good life.” "
Thank you to Jo-Anne McAurther, Corinne Benedict and the Unbound Team for sharing the story and shining the light on the work we do here at C.A.R.E.
We hope that others will be inspired to know that if we can do it, they can too! Everyone can help the animals and make a positive impact every day!