In 2015 and 2019, two students Truong Quoc Viet (Lucky) and Truong Quoc Van (Mickey) respectively won prizes in the writing competition on the topic of "Rhino crisis" and became the representatives of Vietnam to embark on a wilderness trail in South Africa to participate in the World Youth Wildlife Summit.
After five days in the wilderness with 7 other Vietnamese and 2 local trail guides, Lucky and Mickey realized how interconnected they were to the people and to this land 10,000 km away from home. The problem started years before Vietnam’s last native wild rhino went extinct in 2011. For decades now, Vietnam has had the largest market demand for rhino horns. People who seek out to buy these wildlife products usually use them as a cure-all medicine for common sickness and even cancer, despite horns not possessing any therapeutic qualities. Many people without any ailments, continue to purchase and keep these horns as a symbol of high status.
At the summit Lucky and Mickey advocated for Vietnam by starting conversations with the locals - who really do not know much about us besides the assumption we are killing their animals. On the other hand, horn buyers in Vietnam don’t understand the destruction they’re causing, not only to the ecosystem, but that their horn purchases are causing South Africans to be pitted against one another to fight for the desire of people abroad. A domino effect resulting from a horn purchased in Asia to damaging impacts on communities in Africa.
Upon Lucky and Mickey’s return they plan to spread the message and remind everyone that we are more interconnected than we may realize, and that our actions do have great impact.