Since the inception of the John X Foundation seven years ago – John X Safaris and our valued supporters have seen numerous projects bear fruit through the collective effort of like-minded people.
Some of our most recent success has been with our Serval program. This program was first introduced to our Foundation supporters a mere three years ago.
Our goal at the time was to successfully breed Serval in captivity, before releasing the offspring into the reserve. The project ran its course and soon we realized through the various donors generous support, our Serval were breeding much better naturally in the wild, so we dully did away with the breeding enclosures, and released all into the reserve. That combined with Rick’s relentless effort of beating back the encroaching exotic Black Wattle trees on the reserve, has seen numerous stretches of once open grassland slowly but surely return to its original state, ensuring 2015 turned out to be a watershed year in Serval sightings.
This year, for the first time ever, we used sport, through the great game of baseball, to give hope and opportunity to the kids in our local community.
Like our iconic late president Nelson Mandela used to say; “Sport has the power to change the world. Sport has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
Having enjoyed a memorable hunt with Justin Travis, we soon came to realize there’s so much more to this young man than what meets the eye. As the only child of Steve and Haylee Travis, growing up in Houston, Texas, Justin has enjoyed the many privileges of a caring home.
Here’s Justin story and how he together with the John X Foundation made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate during 2015.
We thank you Justin for all your effort in getting this project up and running. By achieving your goal you have not only succeeded in launching this new initiative, but more importantly have set the marker and offered a challenge to other young hunters out there. Sport can unite like nothing else on earth,through sport hope is only a game away. We salute you Justin.
Looking towards the future, it is becoming more evident with each passing day, that without the involvement of the youth, our proud heritage of hunting, stands to lose further ground. Gone are the days of SCI and Dallas Safari Club standing alone in carrying the torch of responsibility. While those organizations work relentlessly in their goals of involving the youth in hunting, it is up to us to do our part too.
If each one of us, who proudly claim to be passionate hunters, were to look back at that watershed moment when the penny dropped and you became a hunter, were to pin the period in your life that, that happened, the majority would surely point towards their younger years. When a father, uncle, older brother, or grand father, introduced you to this amazing past time and instilled the values of hunting. And it is with these fundamentals that we are proud to launch the John X Foundations’ initiative for 2016.
Our Foundation will be teaming up with Patrick Cairns from the Ithemba Trust, initiating a Junior Hunters Course for previously disadvantaged youth from our local impoverished communities.
The aim of this course is to encourage youngsters to get out to the great outdoors and to create a genuine love for outdoor activities and lifestyle. As such it aims to introduce nature, hunting, and conservation, to a part of our community that has never had the opportunity until now. While hunting is the focus, it will be within a conservation style setting and ethos. The course is open to both young ladies and gentlemen.
The course will be held on the 2000 acre, Orange Grove Farm, outside Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape. The property has wonderful camping facilities were the junior hunters will be based.
The emphasis of the course will be on acquiring practical skills on the following topics and activities –
- Conservation – The Role Hunting Plays
- Animal Identification
- Hunter and Gun safety
- Introduction to Ballistics
- Introduction to Shooting
- Basic Hunting Principals – Stalking and bullet placement.
- Tracking skills – Track one of the big five – Buffalo
- Survival skills
- Judging Trophy Animals
- Each child will be offered the opportunity to hunt their first Springbuck.
- Gutting, Caping, and Skinning – Learning about the process where nothing goes to waste.
- Night Drives
At the completion of the course, each participant will receive a tanned hide of his or her Springbuck hunted, kindly sponsored by Splitting Image Taxidermy.
SO HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
John X Safaris will be sponsoring all the required clothing and foot wear for the children, as well as assisting in transportation to and from Orange Grove. GTS Productions has come on board as to capture the entire experience on film for not only the participants, but the sponsors too, ensuring these first fond memories of hunting are immortalized forever.
SPONSOR 1 of 8 KIDS
The cost for the course is US $500 per kid covering:
- Accommodation in canvas tents at Orange Grove Farm for four nights.
- All meals, cool drinks, tea, coffee etc for the duration of the course.
- Transportation throughout the course with 4X4 hunting vehicles.
- All rifles and ammunition.
- Instructors – Professional Hunters, Trackers, and Skinner’s.
- The opportunity to hunt one Springbuck.
Feel free to contact Carl on firstname.lastname@example.org or Trish on email@example.com if you would be interested in sponsoring a kid for this opportunity of a lifetime. If there may be corporate sponsors wishing to come on board we would be more than happy to include brands/ing of any of those organizations too.
2016 will be an exciting year for the John X Foundation, join us and become a part of securing the future of hunting for generations to come.
Happy memories, happy times, and happy moments – These we wish for you to enjoy with loved ones on this Thanksgiving Day. A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.
The John X Team & Foundation