We can't believe it is almost February already! 2014 is already off to a great start at DAKTARI, with all thanks going to YOU for supporting our 'Sponsor a Child' project at Christmas time.
We last wrote to you at the beginning of January to say a huge thank you for enabling us to raise enough money ($4349.25 to be exact!) to fund the first 24 children of the year, to attend DAKTARI for 5 days of environmental education.
Last week we recieved the first group of 8 children from our neighbouring township, the Oaks Village, who had a wonderful time with us. We are currently enjoying the second group of 8 children who are also from the same village, they are in grade 8 and attend Maahlamele High School - this weeks children have written you a letter, which you will find attached as a PDF document as well as copied below:
A letter from the children, written by the children...
"To all the Global Giving supporter,
Thanks you for supporting us. To come to Daktari. We like to learn about animals and many things. Daktari is a nice place. We enjoy everything in Daktari.
Thanks for helping us. From:
Kimberley, Kevin, Tony, Katlego, Shirley, Kgomotso, Thapelo, Magamane.
WE LOVE YOU!"
By this Friday, 31st January, we will have educated 16 of the 24 children you helped us to sponsor. By the end of 2014, we will have educated over 300. DAKTARI simply could not do it without you and we are so grateful!
Please keep us in mind during the days, weeks and months to come and stay in touch via our BLOG, our FACEBOOK page and on TWITTER.
All the best, Amy Hulme.
At Christmas time you made a very generous donation to one of our animals, either on behalf of a loved one, or personally from you. Here is a little update about the difference your festive gift has made...
Gasper and Tiki were hand raised as pets but when they started to bite, their owners no longer wanted them and in 2010 DAKTARI became their home. Your Christmas donations allowed us to enhance and enrich the boy’s enclosure, something we haven’t been able to do for a while. Their home is now much more interesting and stimulating– their favourite addition being a new hammock (pictured above) which they sunbath in together everyday!
Bandit (pictured below) and Munchkin were both hand raised at DAKTARI after separately being found abandoned in the wild, they are now best of friends! Your Christmas donations allowed us to enhance their enclosure with new underground tunnels, a rockery cave, hanging toys and swinging hammock, which they absolutely love playing with together!
Banchee was also hand raised as a pet and when he started to bite, he was no longer wanted and in 2013 DAKTARI became his home. Your Christmas donations allowed us to improve banchee’s enclosure with new jumping and climbing apparatus, making it much more interesting for him on his night time adventures! He also got one of his favourite biscuits (pictured below) which he is treated to every so often.
Shangaan came to DAKTARI in 2011 after being hand raised as a pet and then becoming hard to manage. Your Christmas donations are allowing us to make Shangaan’s home much more interesting, we already had plans to extend his camp, which are underway right now and with your added support we can really enrich the inside and make it exciting. He also enjoyed a large chicken on Christmas Day.
Once again, I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the DAKTARI animals for your support and belief at Christmas. We were all astounded by the overwhelming response this project received and only wish that you could see the impact every day like myself and the rest of the team do. I hope that this report gives you atleast an idea and that you enjoyed reading it - however, if you would like to see for yourself you can come and visit us! For more information on volunteering at DAKTARI simply click here.
From Gasper, Tiki, Bandit, Munchkin, Banchee, Molopo, Tugela, Shangaan and me, we hope you are enjoying the New Year and wish you all the very best for 2014.
Amy Hulme - DAKTARI Marketing Manager
All we can say is WOW! Over a period of 6 weeks, with your help, we managed to raise an incredible $4349.25 to fund the first 24 children of 2014 to visit DAKTARI. We cannot thank you enough for your contribution towards this Christmas campaign!!
It was our hope to welcome children to DAKTARI from January 13th, as soon as the holidays were over, but our local schools would prefer all the children to return for a regular week of education at the beginning of the school year. We have to agree that this is probably best for the children, many of whom will be starting the school year in a higher grade. So, this means that the first 8 children will arrive for environmental education on January 20th and we are very excited to begin the teaching program again.
DAKTARI has created an education program that gives under-privileged youths the opportunity to become passionate about wildlife and conservation. It also allows them to receive the one-on-one support and attention that they so deperately need.
The Limpopo Province, where we operate, is known as one of the poorest, least educated areas in South Africa, with an estimated 78.9% of the population living below the national poverty line. In our local schools, there are often more than 50 students per class, allowing little opportunity for individual support. This means that many children get 'left behind' in the school system. In 2010, only 48% of school leavers passed their Matriculation exam (graduated), so it comes as no surprise that the unemployment rate in 2011 was estimated at 39.5%.* Of course, poverty plays a huge role in the destruction of the environment here in Limpopo, with locals looking to poaching and chopping trees as a means to support their families.
DAKTARI's mission is to educate and inspire our local underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage. We want to encourage these youths to develop compassion for animals and to understand the economic benefits of conservation. Ultimately, we want to help these children to secure good employment within game lodges/reserves or in other eco-tourism roles. This is what you have contributed towards!
So what does a week of environmental education at DAKTARI look like? Each Monday we welcome 8 children for a 5-day visit. During their stay, the children experience daily hands-on interaction with the animals in our care, including feeding, cleaning, enrichment and dog walks. They also receive structured lessons on conservation topics, such as The Environment, Plastics, Animal Knowledge, Hunting & Poaching and Water Testing. They are taken on a bush walk with a trained field guide to discover animal tracks and trees and to learn more about the environment. They are also taken on a tour of a nearby game lodge to learn about the different job opportunities available to them in eco-tourism and to experience the thrill of a game drive. We have included some additional discussions on a variety of topics, like Politeness, Respect, Alcohol & Substance Abuse and Safe Sex, as these are important issues for teenagers in our locality and can have a profound effect on their employability and health in the future. Maths and English are also supported through fun and games. All of this is what you are making possible with your donation!!
In the next report, you will be able to read about the children who have directly benefited from your support. We can't wait to share their stories and happy faces with you!!
Until then, we wish you a very Happy New Year. Thanks again for making a difference!
*Statistics from statssa.gov.za and education.gov.za