Eight-year-old Durban boy raises money for his favourite bird park

Eight-year-old Durban boy raises money for his favourite bird park

A young environmental activist has raised over R30,000 to help support his favourite nature site, the Umngeni River Bird Park.

Romario Valentine

Listen to his full interview with Darren, Keri and Sky:

He may only be eight years old, but Romario Valentine is a smart boy who loves and takes care of nature because he understands the importance of doing so.

The little hero from Umhlanga, Durban, was distraught when his mother, Delsha Moodley, explained to him that because of the lockdown he cannot visit Umngeni River Bird Park - a nature site he frequents because of his love for birds.

"I enjoy going to Umgeni River Bird Park because I love to see the amazing birds, the bird show and feeding them. There is also a beautiful waterfall," he told news24.com

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Worried about the state of the bird park and the funds to help keep it open, Romario, with the help of his mother, resolved to raise money for the park - this is what the young nature-lover wants for his birthday on 26 July.

The easiest way to raise money was to set up a campaign on BackaBuddy (a donation-based online platform), which is what Romario did on 6 July. His goal was to have raised R15,000 on his birthday, but has since surpassed it with just over R30,000 in donations to date.

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Moodley said that they have always taught their son about the importance of conserving and loving nature. Every Friday, little Romario picks up litter at the beach in a bid to keep his area clean and fish safe. 

"When he was six, he was in a school play and he played the part of an Orca (whale). He researched the whale extensively and discovered issues surrounding the ocean and pollution. That's when he decided he wants to clean the beach. We go every Friday after school," she said.

A true environmental activist, Romario also raises awareness about conservation and has influenced two of his friends who join him at the beach from time to time.

Watch Romario's campaign video below:


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