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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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
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