Celia Ho – The Elephant Girl
Celia Ho – The Elephant Girl (so aptly named by Jane Goodall) discussed her thoughts and her awakening concern for elephants with me. She’s a remarkable young person – aware, bright, thoughtful, interested and interesting. I personally believe that creating awareness about animals and animal issues – is one of the most important things that we can do on their behalf – and Celia is doing that in a country not known for having a great deal of concern for animals.
Celia and young people just like her all over the world will become the instruments of change for animals. They will stand with the millions of people globally who are already saying “enough” to animal abuse and cruelty – and they will carry on the fight for animal rights to become entranched in law. Celia is a magnificent example of “the power of one” and I am honoured to have her as a contributor on A Beating Heart!
Meet Celia Ho:
1) Do you have any pets in your home?
I have two cockatoo parrots, Bibi and Gigi, they are my best friends. I have loved animals ever since I was around two or three years old. They are so cute! I also love seeing the animals in the wild.
2) Have you always been aware of and cared about elephants?
Not really. Even so I have always been very connected to animals I truly became interested after realizing elephants are massacred for their ivory.
3) How did you hear about Bryan Christy’s article Blood Ivory?
I always read National Geographic. It gives me more insight on the world. Blood Ivory was on the cover, the article was fascinating and I was hooked!
4) Did you know that elephants were endangered?
I would not exactly expect such a strong giant to have such a fragile reality and sad future if nothing is done to help. Even my friends were very surprised.
5) What was it about the article that motivated you to help?
When I learned about the rampant ivory trade and the devastating effects on the elephant population, I became very angry. I wanted to do something about it, but being just a student I didn’t know what I could do. I finally wrote a letter to our local newspaper The South China Morning Post titled “Ivory Market an Example of Inhumanity”. It is so unfair to witness the future of such a beautiful animal being threatened by people’s greed and their wish to show off how rich they are.
6) Is your family supportive of your work? What about your friends?
My parents are very supportive and encouraging. They fully understand the importance of my action and the need to help elephants. Most of my friends have become very interested in my action. They helped me when we had an open day at school and introduce the ivory problem to visitors.
7) How has your life changed since you became involved with elephants?
The campaign changed my life. It keeps me very busy after my homework but I love living fruitfully as I am voicing out for the elephants. Besides, I have known so many experienced and friendly friends in the field. Through talking to them, my horizon has broadened and learnt the importance of seeing issues from different perspectives.
8) What do you think of being called The Elephant Girl?
This nickname was given to me last year by Dr Jane Goodall, the first supporter of my campaign. She has always been my role model because of her work to save chimpanzees. I took out my Ivory Ban Campaign poster and asked her to autograph it. She then asked for my email address and she gave me this nickname. It was such a proud moment for me.
9) Were you able to march in The Elephant March on October 4, 2013?
I did not because it was a school day. However, I contributed to the Digital International March for Elephants with my classmates organized by iworry from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. I am also very fond of the work and effort done by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.
10)Are opinions changing in China about animal welfare and animal rights?
Over the years, you can notice changes but there is still a long way to go. On the positive side, Chinese people are very eager to learn and that’s why we must focus on education. It is only a matter to show them the positive impact they can have on nature. Right now, little is known there but it’s opening quicker than we think. Again, don’t blame Chinese people but show them the beauty of our natural world!
11) What can other young people do to help?
It would be great if they could relay my video where I explain the problem elephant face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BePrnlOGjPk) . Then they can talk to their friends, parents, contact their local newspapers and liaise with me and then we can become a great action network. The voice of young people needs to be heard because we want a healthier planet, we want elephants to be around for our children to enjoy them. They can also set up their own events and if schools in your country could team up with schools in China, that would be wonderful.
12) If you could speak to an elephant poacher – what would you say?
Some poachers are part of organized crime and gangs but lot of poachers are only poor people doing such a cruel thing to help feed their kids. There is an important poverty issue here. But I would ask this poacher if he could watch the elephant in the eyes first. They have eyes and emotions of humans.
13) What do you want to accomplish next?
I would like to spread my video around the world and especially in Hong Kong and China (a Chinese version is soon being finalized). If each school can look for one or two more schools to support my campaign and so on, we could end up with thousands of young people pressuring their families and friends and slowly changing the public opinion in key countries. The Earth needs elephants!
(Rosemary) – Many thanks for your help and kind words. You can use the beating heart elephant (what a great design!). Your blog makes a big difference, it’s such a sweet idea!
More resources and information at: http://ecosysaction.org/celia’s-corner/
So let’s see how we can help Celia Ho – The Elephant Girl to connect with other children and their schools around the world – to get kids, parents and teachers talking – to involve their schools and to create awareness about the plight of elephants in Africa and also in Asia. Together we can and we will make a difference. As Celia so wisely said “The Earth Needs Elephants” …