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ROMARIO'S SEABIRDS CHRISTMAS GIFT

Funds Raised:
R 55 270
Fundraising Target:
R 50 000
Donate

Personal message

ROMARIO’S 2024 NEW YEAR APPEAL FOR A MOUSE-FREE MARION ISLAND

Update 19 January 2024

Romario would like to thank everyone for supporting his campaign and being a part of this legacy. It will remain open for any further donations. 

“When we take care of nature, we take care of ourselves” – Romario Valentine

 

South Africa’s Marion Island is the scene of a struggle for survival with global significance.  Invasive House Mice, accidentally introduced by humans in the early 19th century, are preying on the Southern Ocean island’s globally important seabirds and invertebrates, adversely impacting its vegetation and undermining the integrity of the entire ecosystem.  With each passing moment, this dangerous intruder poses an ever-growing threat to the remarkable biodiversity of Marion, compelling an urgent response to protect this important site and its cherished seabirds.

Now, as it is summer, most of Marion Island’s seabirds have returned to their breeding grounds.  But the island is no longer the haven it used to be.  The Mouse-Free Marion Project aims to eradicate the “killer” mice by an aerial drop of rodenticide-laced cereal bait over the entire island during winter 2026.  To this end it has been looking towards the informed and interested public to Sponsor a Hectare with a R1000 donation.  To date, 6700 ha (a little over one-fifth of the 30 000-ha target) have been sponsored by more than 1500 caring individuals.  Too much for your pocket?  There is now an opportunity for those who find R1000 a little steep.  Online crowdfunding platforms such as BackaBuddy allow for smaller contributions from those who can spare R100 or more, but perhaps not as much as R1000, the chance to feel they are part of the project. Of course, donations of more than the cost of a single hectare will also be greatly welcomed!

Romario Valentine is an 12-year-old environmental campaigner who received BirdLife South Africa’s Owlet Award in 2022.  Romario has been an active environmentalist since the age of 6. He’s the author of Protect our Planet – Take action with Romario which was released in September 2022. It’s a fun science academic book that addresses climate change and environmental challenges including guidance on how anyone can become an ‘earth guardian’.  To date Romario has done over 250 beach clean ups and planted or sponsored over 455 trees in 31 countries around the world.

Last summer, Romario raised over R 21 000 for the Mouse-Free Marion Project via a successful online appeal, Romario’s Seabirds Christmas Gift, more than twice his original target (click here).  Romario is now repeating his campaign as Romario’s New Year Appeal for a Mouse-Free Marion Island, asking you to contribute – for the first time or again - with the aim of raising as much, or more, than he did a year ago.  This allows you to contribute the sum you can afford, knowing that your contribution will join with others to sponsor a hectare (or more) of Marion Island.  In making your donation, please consider clicking on “Fees Covered’, so that the MFM Project will receive the full amount you have chosen.  To subscribe to the free MFM Project’s quarterly newsletter provide your details at https://mousefreemarion.org/contact.

 

To learn more about Marion Island and the epic struggle it faces with the House Mouse, watch a video narrated by singer Zolani Mahola, “The One Who Sings” of Freshly Ground fame.

 

The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a partnership between South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and BirdLife South Africa.

 

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In the media:

Donations

  • Feb 12, 2024 - USD $ 5.68 Fees covered
  • "Oh well done young man you are an inspiration to all of us and a kick up the bum to remind us that anyone can do anything with a wee bit of gumption and a bunch of passion and self-belief." - Anonymous

  • Jan 31, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Great initiative John- Happy 77th Birthday" - Anonymous

  • Jan 31, 2024 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 31, 2024 - USD $ 11.51 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 30, 2024 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "Happy birthday John." - Anonymous

  • Jan 30, 2024 - R 250.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 29, 2024 - USD $ 11.49 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 26, 2024 - R 200.00
  • "Brilliance!" - Anonymous

  • Jan 26, 2024 - R 300.00
  • "Happy B day John C." - Anonymous

  • Jan 26, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "for John's birthday" - Anonymous

  • Jan 25, 2024 - USD $ 27.01 Fees covered
  • "Romario, you are AWESOME! This is a small gift to this worthy campaign in honor of my Dad's birthday: John Cooper :)" - Dana Hargrove

  • Jan 25, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 25, 2024 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "Wishing you all the best Romario! You are making a difference! Keep doing what you are doing! Glory to God!" - Anonymous

  • Jan 24, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Proud of you big guy." - Anonymous

  • Jan 22, 2024 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Protecting the seabirds habitat is a remarkable thing to do. We need a more sustainable future where we can live in harmony with nature. You inspire us Romario." - Anonymous

  • Jan 19, 2024 - R 259.00 Fees covered
  • "The final R259..." - Cruickshank Cruickshank

  • Jan 19, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 16, 2024 - USD $ 27.01 Fees covered
  • "Children like you are the future of our planet." - Brent

  • Jan 15, 2024 - USD $ 32.42 Fees covered
  • "God bless all involved. May this succeed beyond all hopes." - Maureen Rousseau

  • Jan 15, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Happy 77th Birthday Dad!" - Ruth

  • Jan 15, 2024 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "Keep going Romario!" - Allen

  • Jan 12, 2024 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 12, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 12, 2024 - USD $ 29.05 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 12, 2024 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Continue in your pursuit of loving and caring for our environment Romario. I am so proud of you." - Mrs J

  • Jan 11, 2024 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "Pragtige voorbeeld vir die kinders. Dankie jongman." - Gary Pieterse

  • Jan 11, 2024 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 10, 2024 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 09, 2024 - R 350.00 Fees covered
  • "Happy New Year Romario. You're the light the world needs." - Claire

  • Jan 07, 2024 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 04, 2024 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Roderick Bally

  • Jan 03, 2024 - USD $ 54.03 Fees covered
  • "" - Brian Zylich

  • Jan 03, 2024 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 03, 2024 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "Happy New Year Romario. Protect our Planet is full of interesting facts and wonderful illustrations. Your bird paintings are symbolic and expressive of nature's beauty. Thank-you for informing us about the plight of the seabirds on Marion island." - Tom Hill

  • Jan 03, 2024 - USD $ 29.08 Fees covered
  • "Great work Romario! Your dedication to nature is admirable and honourable! We're honoured to contribute." - Xantherea

  • Jan 02, 2024 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 02, 2024 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Jan 02, 2024 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Liz

  • Dec 28, 2023 - USD $ 16.21 Fees covered
  • "Happy Holidays Romario! You make us proud. Keep painting and spreading awareness of those beautiful birds." - Sandra

  • Dec 27, 2023 - USD $ 17.29 Fees covered
  • "Go Romario! You are doing a great job" - Anonymous

  • Dec 25, 2023 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 24, 2023 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Thank you for helping the precious birds on Marion island. You bring hope and sunshine." - Christina

  • Dec 24, 2023 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Thanks very much for your excellent efforts, Romario. You are a true inspiration." - Anton

  • Dec 24, 2023 - USD $ 108.05 Fees covered
  • "May all the albatrosses thrive!" - Holly P

  • Dec 23, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "Happy Holidays Romario!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 23, 2023 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 20, 2023 - USD $ 58.89 Fees covered
  • "" - PB

  • Dec 20, 2023 - USD $ 16.21 Fees covered
  • "Great achievement Romario. A natural born leader. You understand the meaning of kindness, nature and community." - Aki

  • Dec 20, 2023 - USD $ 29.44 Fees covered
  • "Thank you Romario for the great work to protect seabirds! You are such an inspiration and a real role model for many!" - Yasuko

  • Dec 19, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 19, 2023 - USD $ 54.03 Fees covered
  • "" - Simon Bright

  • Dec 19, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "Romario, you're definitely leaving a legacy for future generations. Thank-you for highlighting such an important cause. Happy Holidays sunshine." - Karen Howard

  • Dec 19, 2023 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "Great artwork, Romario, but even better is your initiative in using your skills to support the conservation of seabirds on Marion Island. Very inspirational, and best wishes for reaching or exceeding your target!" - Keith

  • Dec 18, 2023 - USD $ 11.59 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 18, 2023 - USD $ 16.21 Fees covered
  • "Merry Christmas Romario. Your paintings are incredible. Thanks for helping the Marion island birslds." - Anonymous

  • Dec 15, 2023 - USD $ 14.72 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 15, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "A beautiful and worthy cause to support." - Tara

  • Dec 15, 2023 - USD $ 14.72 Fees covered
  • "Thank you for all you do for nature, Romario. The world needs more people like you." - Mark Anderson

  • Dec 15, 2023 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "You're such a dedicated earth warrior and to think you're only 12 years old. Astounding!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 14, 2023 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 14, 2023 - USD $ 27.01 Fees covered
  • "Thanks for spreading awareness. I'm really proud of your efforts. Your campaign deserves all the exposure it can get. Keep saving the birds Romario." - James

  • Dec 14, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "You're an inspiration! Keep protecting the important seabirds Romario." - Anonymous

  • Dec 11, 2023 - USD $ 43.22 Fees covered
  • "Keep up the inspiring work, Romario. Seabirds need all of us!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 09, 2023 - USD $ 108.05 Fees covered
  • "" - Liz Auton

  • Dec 08, 2023 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Romario you are great leader already at your age! We will continue to support you all the way." - Kathy

  • Dec 07, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "You are the light the world needs. I also grabbed a copy of your book Protect our Planet. It is a well-written and incredible book. Best of luck with your conservation campaign." - Anonymous

  • Dec 07, 2023 - USD $ 57.04 Fees covered
  • "Thank you for being an environmentalist, Romario! I love your artistic ability…you’re aamazing!" - Lisa

  • Dec 06, 2023 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "A wonderful intiative Romario." - JP

  • Dec 06, 2023 - R 100.00 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 06, 2023 - USD $ 32.42 Fees covered
  • "You are definitely protecting our planet Romario!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 06, 2023 - R 250.00 Fees covered
  • "The greatest threat to our planet is that someone else will take care of it. At such a young you are acting now. May you get all the support you need, little Romario. The future is bright earth warrior." - Anonymous

  • Dec 05, 2023 - USD $ 54.03 Fees covered
  • "You are an inspiration! Thank you for all you continue to do for conservation." - Thank you, Romario!

  • Dec 05, 2023 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "You're a kind and remarkable child. Thank-you for protecting the Marion birds." - Anonymous

  • Dec 05, 2023 - R 750.00 Fees covered
  • "With admiration and gratitude for your generous and wise spirit, Romario. We need more people like you on the planet! Well done." - Anonymous

  • Dec 05, 2023 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Thank you for supporting the seabirds Romario." - Yvonne

  • Dec 04, 2023 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "Good luck in all that you’re doing and achieving in life, you are an exceptional young man and our beautiful planet needs all the help it can get." - Lucy

  • Dec 01, 2023 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "" - Anonymous

  • Dec 01, 2023 - USD $ 21.61 Fees covered
  • "I'm a birder too and birds play an integral part in our ecosystem. Thank-you for protecting these important species and their habitats." - Sarah

  • Dec 01, 2023 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "" - John Cooper

  • Nov 30, 2023 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Well done young man. I will take this opportunity to wish you and your parents happy holidays." - Anonymous

  • May 05, 2023 - R 200.00
  • "Keep up the good work" - Bob

  • Feb 02, 2023 - USD $ 15.85 Fees covered
  • "I'm happy and proud to support you Romario. You are an inspiration. I wish you a successful new year. " - Simon

  • Jan 24, 2023 - USD $ 15.72 Fees covered
  • "Romario you are always inspiring people to protect the natural world. You bring us hope. " - Jane

  • Jan 10, 2023 - R 500.00
  • "Keep up the good work, Roms." - Zakithi Mazibuko

  • Jan 07, 2023 - R 850.00 Fees covered
  • "What an amazing boy. Compliments of the season. " - Anonymous

  • Jan 05, 2023 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Admirable mission , keep going !" - S Naidoo

  • Jan 05, 2023 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Well done!" - Anonymous

  • Jan 05, 2023 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "Well done young lad. You an inspiration to your peers. Happy New Year!!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 25, 2022 - USD $ 12.71 Fees covered
  • "Happy Holidays Santa's little helper. You are the light the world needs. " - Olivia

  • Dec 23, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Well done Romario - what a great effort" - ANDRE WOLFAARDT

  • Dec 21, 2022 - USD $ 129.47 Fees covered
  • "Fantastic work Romario - you an inspiration! Merry Chrisimas & thanks on behalf of all the Marion birds!" - Megan & Falklands Friends

  • Dec 21, 2022 - R 300.00 Fees covered
  • "Keep at your dreams Romario. You're a vision of hope and kindness this festive time for your feathered friends. Thank you. Blessings xxxx" - Blair & Granny Mags

  • Dec 18, 2022 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Leading the way young man! " - Timothy Cronje

  • Dec 15, 2022 - USD $ 125.60 Fees covered
  • "Romario, you are an inspiration! Keep up you excellent work! With great respect from Connecticut, USA." - Stephanie Wiles and Jeff Rubin

  • Dec 14, 2022 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "You are an amazing young man! Good luck with your projects!" - Hilda de Jager

  • Dec 11, 2022 - USD $ 62.26 Fees covered
  • "To help save the albatross" - Holly P

  • Dec 11, 2022 - USD $ 15.57 Fees covered
  • "You're a special boy Romario. Thank you for leading the way. Happy Holidays. " - Sarah

  • Dec 10, 2022 - USD $ 3.11 Fees covered
  • "Wonderful cause thank you bringing it to our attention and provide means to help however little " - Margi

  • Dec 06, 2022 - R 100.00 Fees covered
  • "Good luck Romario!" - Misha Teasdale

  • Dec 05, 2022 - USD $ 10.81 Fees covered
  • "Keep birding Romario! " - Anonymous

  • Dec 04, 2022 - USD $ 36.93 Fees covered
  • "Great project!" - Endel Stamberg

  • Dec 02, 2022 - USD $ 307.39 Fees covered
  • "Thank you for fighting for the environment! Keep going! " - Elanie

  • Dec 02, 2022 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "You're doing an amazing job" - Anonymous

  • Dec 01, 2022 - USD $ 12.60 Fees covered
  • "Happy Christmas Romario and thank you for all the good work you do. I love seeing your amazing avian artwork too. You are a true inspiration." - Saji

  • Dec 01, 2022 - USD $ 25.20 Fees covered
  • "Wishing your campaign great success and a very Happy Christmas to you and your family" - Carol Barrowclough

  • Nov 30, 2022 - R 250.00 Fees covered
  • "Well done, Romario! Love your paining of a Critically Endangered Tristan Albatross that are attacked by mice on Gough Island" - John Cooper

  • Nov 30, 2022 - USD $ 16.21 Fees covered
  • "Romario you're a little citizen of the world making change. " - Anonymous

  • Nov 29, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Romario you are a true champion of the Earth and a leader. Your achievements are beyond your years. What a kind-hearted child. May you reach your goals in everything you do. " - Liane De Groot

  • Nov 29, 2022 - USD $ 12.61 Fees covered
  • "Great project Romario - along with Tristan da Cunha we need to protect these islands" - Naturetastic with Henry

  • Nov 29, 2022 - USD $ 5.96
  • "Amazing Romario! Good luck with the project, brilliant work! " - Benjamin Fallow

  • Nov 29, 2022 - R 300.00
  • "Romario! Keep supporting nature and you local community. Through you we are able help these special birds. A worthy cause. " - SLK

  • Nov 28, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Romario is an inspiration to us all. Happy Christmas little one. " - Louisa

  • Nov 28, 2022 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "You're an inspiration, Romario. Thanks so much for your amazing efforts. You truly are a gift to our community, and indeed the world" - Anton Wolfaardt

  • Nov 28, 2022 - R 150.00 Fees covered
  • "You make us proud boy boy! Thank you for showing us the way to protect nature. " - Deehan

  • Nov 28, 2022 - USD $ 23.31
  • "Merry X-Max Romario - " - Markus Knigge

  • Nov 28, 2022 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "You are an environmental activist through your actions. Thank you for giving us a good opportunity." - JUNSEOK,JINWOO,JINA

  • Nov 28, 2022 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "Great work young man!" - Cathy

  • Nov 27, 2022 - USD $ 11.38 Fees covered
  • "You are such a sweetheart. Sad to see these gorgeous birds suffering. I hope you reach your target. Love Paula and Nico." - Paula

  • Nov 27, 2022 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "I'm a huge fan of Romario's. I've followed him for years and the progress he has made in such a short space of time motivates me to do more for our environment. Thank you sunshine. Xxx" - Margaret

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Statistics

Fundraising target

R 50 000.00

Donations to date

R 55 270.24
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Romarios Birthday Umgeni Birds Cause

Romarios Birthday Umgeni Birds Cause Logo

12-year-old, Romario Valentine, from Durban is a young eco-warrior and author of Protect our Planet – Take action with Romario. Renowned globally for his beach clean ups, tree planting, avian art and other conservation projects.
He is an Ocean Sole ambassador, a 2022 BirdLife SA Owlet laureate and affiliated to many environmental organisations. He believes it is his mission to inspire and empower the youth to become earth guardians.

Follow Romario on Twitter