Greetings to our lovely one’s.
How are you all? I hope you are all doing fine. How is life and all your work and studies? I’m also think everything is going well too!
Everything is in order at our club. Risette is doing good, guiding us well and teaching us very well too. Risette is getting help from other respective volunteers too. Everyone at the meeting is doing good and we always learning more. They are teaching us about the big 5, small 5, reptiles and much more. The think that makes me interested in the club is when we are learning about snakes.
I have learned that when I see a snake I don’t have to run away, because if I run it will just sense the vibration on the ground. They don’t hear anything, that’s why you can shout SNAKE! So someone can come and help.
The meeting with Risette and the volunteers is preventing us to go and see bad friends, those who smoke drugs. It’s good that they tell us about the danger of smoking drugs. I promise I will never drink alcohol or smoke drugs because the church that I attend doesn’t allow me that.
They teach me a lot, let me see if I can mange to mention them: Politeness, Respect, Mathematics, English, How to care for animals, Going on dog walks, What do I want to be when I grow up. I want to become a vet, which is an animal doctor, so I will help animals. I want them to be treated well like people.
Our life in our community is very good, because everybody is enjoying. As they though us everything like how to take care of our environment, we are doing good in our community. We are still trying our best to make it look good. Our mayor has hired people from our community to clean and tell people not to throw rubbish on the land. This is how we can prevent land, air and water pollution.
I would like to thank you for the great job that you are all doing for us. I wish you all the best. You are such good people, because without you I don’t know if we were having the opportunities that we are having now. Thank you all and keep it up!
Ashandy Lewele – 16
Maahlamele High School - Grade 10
Thank you for all your amazing support and donations through GlobalGiving. With this money we are able to support, teach and guide these students on a weekly basis.
Who can tell and show you better what the project is about then the students themselves. These underprivileged students started in the eco-club last year, they were shy and had no idea what they wanted for themselves. They didn’t think much further then their matric (exam at the end of high school). Now they have grown, they are confident and full of dreams and ideas. Just have a look at these amazing high school students:
The year has gone so fast, the project has developed a lot and really quickly, I can hardly keep up myself. Luckily it is all for the good. A big “thank you” to everybody who is supporting this new project and all it’s developments. I updated some of the information on the project page, because we are doing much more then just running two eco-clubs. We work closely with schools and post matric students in the Limpopo region to empower, motivate and help find jobs and schools which will enable the young adults of the area to better themselves and their future. We help them find out what they want to do with their future, help them with job placements or college placements, as well as run our eco-clubs in the villages which promote environmental friendly ways of living, and how to become a spokes person for your community and set the right example.
We also changed our name. It is no longer Daktari Outreach, which was too vague. Our new name it Daktari YEP, which stands for Youth Empowerment Program. What do you think, much better right?
At the eco-club meetings the students get lessons about different animals, like the big 5, the small 5, but also about the antelope, birds and about animal behavior. We also discuss endangered species and rhino poaching. Especially the rhino poaching is a big topic at the moment since South Africa already lost 668 rhinos in 2012! These children live in the area where the poachers live; we have to make sure that they feel for the rhino so that they can influence their peers. We can save the rhino by educating this generation!
It is not only the lessons itself that make the students gain knowledge; it’s also the fact that all the lessons are in English, so they develop their language skills. The form a team, a group, they feel like they belong to something, that they mean something. It also keeps them off the streets. They even develop politeness skills and talk to international volunteers makes them more confident, all of this will help them towards a brighter future. Most jobs in this area are tourism related so to have good English communication skills and general knowledge about the environment will enhance their chance on getting a job in the future.
Kutullo one of the post matric (he finished his high school) students applied with our help to SA Wildlife college, so he can study more about the environment. He has an interview next week Monday! We all believe he can make it and will get in. It would be the opportunity he needs to change his life.
Grace, one of the students of the eco-club got transferred to a new school, a private school! Here she will get all the opportunities she needs to achieve her dreams! On the picture you can see her in her wonderful new school uniform! We still need your help, we found a sponsor that covers a big part of her school fees, but she still needs a uniform, school supplies, transport and sometimes to be able to go on a trip. You can read her whole story on her micro project page. http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/help-grace-to-achieve-her-dreams/
Again thank you for your amazing support! Thanks to your donation these children have a chance to a better life and you are saving the environment at the same time.
Firstly I want to say “thank you for your support!” Without your support I wouldn’t be able to keep developing this project the way we are doing now.
We are still going to two eco-clubs every week with each approximately 40 local students, where we teach them everything they want to know about the environment and the animals but also the economic impact of poaching. The new and exciting news is that we developed a new training week that a group of selected students can participate in!
Each selected student will get a week at Daktari where they will receive these extra lessons and coaching sessions, these are all about self-development. The exercises are designed in a way for the students to figure out their own passion, dreams and goals in life and where they should start with the first step. All is developed in a way that shows them that they, themselves, CAN change their future, even if it is with little steps at the time.
It also gives a great overview of the needs and obstacle for us as a project where they really DO need our help, things that they can’t do on their own, because of a lack of resources. It is not only about finding your goals and direction, it is also about getting to know yourself, your character, your strengths and weaknesses. All of this might sound so logical to you, but these students never got this in school! It is a whole new concept. So far we trained four students out of the selected 20 and you can see a huge change in one week. We touch subjects as how to present yourself in a job interview, how to write a resumé and a cover letter and what is body language and how does that work. It is interesting for me as a project manager to see the huge changes and the need where we can step in and help out!
Speaking of which, I would like to ask for your help. I have one student, Kabelo, she wants to become a charted accountant and she has a National Certificate in Financial Management N6, but is looking for a 18 month internship before she can further her studies, how great would it be if a company (overseas) could provide that for her! So if you know someone who might be able to help, please contact me (Risette de Haas email@example.com).
We have more great news to share; we also had the opportunity to offer a group of our students a practical experience in the bush, where a group of field guides in training took the children out on a walk and thought them everything about birds and tracks! The children and the field guides were super enthusiastic. After the walk the students had to draw a track of one of the animals they saw, later on they could check this with a real track and see the differences. All of this inspired one of the students to change his goal in live into becoming a field guide!
In Hoedspruit, the nearby town, there was a market organized where Daktari held a stand as well. This market was all about sustainability, very interesting. We had the opportunity to invite some of the students to visit the market, where they could walk around and speak to the different companies holding a stand there. They learned about glass recycling, other conservation projects and why they are necessary and many other things. They also had the chance to talk to a rhino! This is Chris Daniel who wrote a children’s book, Bongi’s Quest, with a great story to explain the impact of rhino poaching, with his initiative he talks to children all over the world, and our students could hear his story and meet Bongi! Check the short movie on YouTube that was on the South African TV about this market: http://youtu.be/wWw3Sx-ebsQ
I would like to thank everyone that has donated so far and for following our project. Without your support we would be unable to help all these students like we do. We were able to register at with WESSA/WWF for the schools, more information will follow in the next reports. Thank you for that, it's a great step into the future of the project and into the education of these kids.
We have had a busy past few months with guest speakers at the club, lessons planned by volunteers, charitable events from other organizations and much, much more. All of the guest speakers and events has given our students confidence in themselves and hopefully will inspire them to work towards a better future.
In previous reports we mentioned Kutullo and that he got his dream placement at Khamai Reptile Park. Well he is still there volunteering and has been there nearly two months now and is still really enjoying it. Every week he phones and tells me all the amazing things he has been able to do, from holding dangerous snakes to going out on calls to remove and release animals from peoples homes. Unfortunately Khamai will not be able to employ him as full time staff due to already having a full team, but the experience and his willingness to learn will give him a better chance of getting employed in the future.
In the future we are planning to try and place as many students as we can in higher education and work placements. Usually interviews, accommodation and travel costs are a factor in where we can send the students. Hopefully with you’re continued support we shall be able to place all the students in areas they are interested in.
In May Global Vision International (GVI) held an event to raise funds for the Daktari Outreach Programme. Staff and volunteers from GVI pushed a Toyota Hilux from a gate on Karongwe Game Reserve all the way to Daktari. They delivered materials and stationary to us and raised money through sponsorship and donations. This huge feat included; 11km of dirt road with 5 hills and to the surprise of everyone at Daktari this was managed in less than 5 hours (some of our volunteers thought it would take over 9). Over £2000 and a huge amount of materials was given to us and every member of the Eco Club was ecstatic that so many people cared about them and there future. All the students and everyone that helps with the Outreach Programme would like to say thank you again and we hope that more organizations will hold similar events in the future.
The last story I want to tell you about happened a few weeks ago. Willington the president of an Eco Club we are not yet involved with contacted me 2 weeks ago. He heard two boys talking about a cattle egret they had found, which was attacked by a dog. The discussion was about taking the egret to a Sangoma (traditional healer) and selling it. This is where Willington stepped in and told the boys to give him it, and this is where he called me. We went to get the egret from the local village and brought it to Daktari where we cared and fed it. Unfortunately the injuries he received were too severe and died soon after. This is a fantastic story of the impact we have made to the community and we hope in the future this will be a more frequent occurrence.
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