8th May 2015,
Dear Daktari Supporters,
Replacing Nathalie’s was not as easy task, as she had big boots to fill!!! I am Sara and I am the animal manager at Daktari, and for the past few months I have been running the eco-club.
It was something new for me, and I have to admit it took about 5 minutes for these children to steal my heart. The educational part of my job is the most challenging and complicated, but also the most rewarding. In only 2 months I achieved great results with the children and a personal accomplishment I never thought possible.
I decided to cover subjects that the children are not used to study, talking about issues that are way out of their normal school programme. When the theory of evolution was firstly introduced to them they were very shocked: they refused any believe that does not glorify God as the creator of all human beings and animals.
Everybody has their own believes, and there is no right or wrong, but everybody should be informed. The children were curios about it, they showed interest in Charles Darwin, and I believe this lesson made think, and question themselves and the Bible, and isn’t it question yourself the first step towards improvement!
The need to look better after the animals in the local villages is a necessity, and as animal manager I wanted to participate in the education of the local people about the importance of keeping our dogs free of ticks and fleas, as these can affect the owners’ health and especially the children. The eco-club children demonstrate acknowledgment of the problem, and they show determination to teach their families and friends to look after their dogs better. Thanks to the collaboration of the State Veterinary the local people will be able to get free treatment from the animal technician of the area, and all the children that had pets saved the phone number!
We also learn about subjects as discrimination and respect towards everybody! We talked about history issues that were essential to stop discrimination in all ways, such as the Holocaust. None of the children were informed about Second World War and I decided to make a lesson about it.
Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage joined Roots and Shoots programme by Jane Goodall. As part of their team we will be involved ion campaigns that involve children, animal and environment. The children wanted to be include and they will come up with ideas in order to improve the community and their personal comfort within their village.
Teenage children are probably the most difficult kids to work with, if they are not inspired they show an attitude and they can bring the class down. It is hard sometimes to keep them all interested and focus, and to keep the discipline, but we always get there eventually. We had few national holidays when the schools were closed, but some children still came and it made our all team very excited and even happier to teach.
I like to think I can teach the children, but I have to admit what I learn from them, their appreciation of little things, their love of learning and their genuine smiles teach me way more that I could ever teach them!
I could never thank you enough for making all these possible and for keeping supporting Daktari.
Dear DAKTARI Supporters,
It has been a long time since there was news from our Eco Clubs as the children were on holiday since November. But first of all, we want to give you the good news that they all passed their exams last year…we are very proud of them :)
At the end of the year, as a nice reward, the best 4 children of each school had the chance to spend a Sunday with us at DAKTARI! We really had great fun, swimming, playing, taking care of the animals and going on a bush walk to the Leopard rock to learn about tracks and different trees.
It was a really nice, sunny Sunday full of joy, laughs, and smiles. Jeremiah, one of our most ambitious learners, actually left that day telling us “I had a fantastic day, I have learned so much and I feel so happy that you invited me at DAKTARI”, which put a big smile on my face :)
After a month break for Christmas, the children are now back at school and since middle of January, we have started our weekly eco clubs again.
What a nice surprise on the first day at Ramatau to see children queuing in front of the class and seeing that 78 of them turned up with the motivation to learn, which shows us that the desire to learn more and more is growing in the school.
Since the beginning of the year we have learnt about different subjects on wildlife and environment such as ecotourism, plastic, rainbows, the different antelopes found in Limpopo and the Food Chain.
We also had some good and fun times as we decorated the eco club classroom at Maachlamele School by painting, drawing and putting nice animal pictures on the wall. The classroom looks now much more colourful and welcoming for more and more students!
As you know, your donations are more than precious and mean the world to us. We still have many ideas and so much more we would like to accomplish! We are still looking for funds to be able to take the children to the Reptile Park in March and cover the cost of petrol, entrance and lunch for about 10 of them. We also would like to continue furnishing our eco club class-room at Maachlamele School.
We will never thank you enough for your support and look forward to give you more news soon :)
Nathalie, Eco Club Teacher
Dear GlobalGiving Donors,
Some of you know us personally but others have not had the opportunity to meet us yet.
We, Ian and I (Michele), are the co-founders on site of DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage.
Yesterday, 31st of December, I went again through the list of our donors to check that we did not forget to thank anyone.
The list was long and I realised how many people you are, helping and trusting us. Being touched about it, I had to take time and think about each of you all!
I want you to understand that behind the description of the project on GlobalGiving, there are also two people with passion for the environment and love for our community. We, and our team, are the ones doing the work and making the impact on your behalf. We deeply thank you for choosing DAKTARI as a beneficiary.
Your donation (s) have been very important to us in 2014 and this is why I finished the year thinking about each and every one of you.
When I woke up this morning, believe it or not, I was thinking of you again. Although I wanted to stay in bed, I needed to share my feelings with you and write my gratitude. It is important to explain in simple words how meaningful you are to us. Basically, you kicked me out of bed!!!!
Thank you for being who you are. Your generous support makes it possible for our organisation to exist and to make the community a great place to live.
Remember that to us your donation is much more than a click, and we are looking forward to your support in 2015.
All the best to you, very dear donors.
Another great year is coming to an end and all the animals and everyone at DAKTARI, as well as the children at the Eco-Club wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2015!!
No words can describe how grateful we are for your help and support. We could not run this Bush School & Wildlife Orphange without you! All these fabulous moments, bush adventures, joy, animals rescued and released, new babies, children's stories, laughs, teaching program... This is thanks to your participation towards a better world.
THANK YOU for being here, involved with DAKTARI and our community project and we hope to continue hearing from you Next Year :)
The DAKTARI Team,
Children, Animals, Volunteers, Staff, Ian and Michele.
My name is Nathalie and I have been volunteering at the Eco Club for the past 3 months and I must say that it has been a wonderful experience for me… :)
This experience is so rewarding and as you know….the eco club program could not be possible without your donation and continuous support!
A good news at Machlamele School is that we now have our own Eco Club Room. This classroom is dedicated to the Eco club and the children and I are very happy to have our own space to learn. We have started to furnish it…bought tables and chairs, some curtains, and have been donated some cushions to make a nice living room space in it! We have also planted trees and flowers to decorate the room and also to teach the kids to care for them…
Francois one of DAKTARI volunteer has also made a wooden filling cabinet for the children to keep their folders.
Slowly but surely we want to decorate this room and make it a confortable space for the eco club kids to enjoy coming and learning in it.
But one of big project we have run with the children in the last month is the preparation of a big event in their village, The Oaks. Part of our Outreach program we are currently working on is a long term project to make the village a “eco friendly village” to be able to attract and welcome tourists. Therefore we must gather the population and educate them on the importance of having a clean village and taking care of the environment. Our best ambassadors being the children of the village, we decided to make a speech and a show event in order to motivate the population.
The children have written a song about the importance of having a clean village, and they have prepared the show by singing and dancing. It was really great fun but also very educational..
Last week we started the project and it was very nice to see the community participating but also the children coming to show the example…this project is on going and we look forward to tell you more about it in our next report.
Beside that big project, we have been caring on our lessons about animals care and environment and watched videos and learn about subjects as wide as pollution, reptiles, anti poaching or global warning ;)
The children also decided to write some beautiful letters to the anti poachers to thanks them for caring of the animals and stopping the poachers.
As I said this past 3 months have been very exciting and rewarding…its so rewarding to see the children becoming more and more confident and curious about their environment.
At the present they are all in exams period until the end of November. We wish them good luck and we all look forward to restart the Eco Club in about 3 weeks time.
As you know, your donation is more than precious and means the world to us. We still have many ideas and so much more we would like to accomplish! We are still looking for funds to be able to take the children to the Reptile Park and cover the cost of petrol, entrance and lunch for about 20 of them. We also would like to continue furnishing our eco club room and by the end of the year, if possible, take them on another game drive for them to Makalali Game Reserve.
We will never thank you enough for your support and look forward to give you more news in a bit :)
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