GUEST OF HONOUR – Doutzen Kroes
During the invigorating Future For Nature Awards on April 20, 2018, Future For Nature had the honour of hosting Dutch supermodel and activist Doutzen Kroes as Guest of Honour.
Hostess Saba Douglas-Hamilton welcomed Doutzen on the stage with tears in her eyes. “For me, Doutzen Kroes is a guardian angel of a different kind, because of the amazing work she has been doing helping us save elephants.”
Doutzen spoke of her youth in Friesland, growing up on a secluded farm and learning to be environmentally conscious. She visited Saba Douglas-Hamilton in Kenya, and that experience changed her life. Being surrounded by elephants, being able to study all the cravices in their rugged skin, and seeing her son mesmerised by these giant creatures on the Samburu savannah, Doutzen fell in love with elephants.
She also came in contact with the dark story of these elephants when they found a poached animal. Doutzen never realised the extend of elephant poaching, and could not fanthom why these precious animals were killed to have ivory as a fashion status.
Doutzen decided that we have to do something to save the elephants for future generations, and to become the generation that looks back and says: we did it.
“They say that elephants never forget, and researchers have long documented their superb memories, so how could we humans show that we hadn’t forgotten about elephants? For generations people have tied knots to not forget something, meanwhile we are forgetting the elephants.” So she started, together with Save the Elephants, the #KnotOnMyPlanet campaign and the Elephant Crisis Fund!
Already, she rallied legions of people behind her, and they have raised over 3 million dollars for the Elephant Crisis Fund!
Doutzen Kroes strongly believes that we can make a difference, and that we can be that generation that makes a change.
“Today I have the chance to listen to these amazing young champions that have achieved so much already, and I am so grateful to be a part of that, to be here today. And we should all think of how we could be the wind beneath their wings. I see all of you here and it gives me hope. Hope for a green future where we can live in harmony with the natural world, the life support system that we all depend upon, with all its fascinating diversity of life.”
Doutzen ended her emotional speech with a call to the audience, to rally them as well, and involve them in conservation.
“We each have a tool, that we can use to contribute. […] The young conservationists gathered here by FFN have all found their own tool and each of them is blazing a trail for us. Each of us needs to do the same. We need to find our tool, and need to find our talents, our energy, to come together and be that generation that makes the difference.”
(photo credits: Theo Kruse, Willem Sluyterman van Loo)