I hope you all came into 2016 on the right foot! I know us at DAKTARI have had a great start to the year. After a short break over the holidays, we started the educational program with the children a little over 3 weeks ago, and so far it has been a great success!
We spent the holidays working on the teaching program and making the changes which we thought would best move the program forward. All the suggestions from our volunteers were taken into consideration and used to adapt the program to make the most impact possible on the children!
Moreover, over the past two weeks we have been incredibly lucky to spot leopards in our weekly visit to Makalali! Needless to say, it has become the children's favorite moment of the week! Being able to spot wildlife on the trip to the neighboring game reserve really gives a new dimension to the educational experience. Seeing the animals at the camp who are injured or orphaned serves to appreciate the animals and give a tangible example of animals that their actions can affect, yet seeing the wide variety of animals in the wild provides a better example. Also, for many children it is the very first time they see animals in the wild! All in all very powerful!
Finally, we would like to extend a huge thank you to all of you who donated to the December fundraiser! Overall you raised the incredible amount of $5,005! This placed us at 16th from 273 projects which we can consider an incredible success. This was all possible thanks to YOU and your generosity. We are humbled by your support!
In addition to this, we have launched a revised animal sponsorship program where you can adopt one of the animals that we house at DAKTARI. If you would like to learn more, follow the link here!
Again, thank you so much for your continued support! It really makes a difference to us and to the educational program for the children. You are a key part to our program, and we are so grateful to have you be on board with us! You do not go unappreciated!
From all of us at DAKTARI, we wish you the best!
Until the next time!
As you may know, in late 2015 our area went through a very drastic drought. A little rain in addition to your support has made this period more bearable and we have been able to make some purchases to 'help out' the wildlife in the farm.
For instance, we were able to replace the borehole pump which feeds the basin which we have outside of camp for the animals. This has made it a focal point for all kinds of wildlife that come to drink at this spot. The cost for this purchase was covered with your help, and we are so grateful for your generosity in contributing to the project!
Unfortunately the lack of water and rain is still a very present situation, and with the birth of a lot of baby animals (be they antelopes or small animals like mongoose) we are still very aware that this can become an ongoing problem. We decided to address the water issue as we believe it would be more beneficial to all animals as a whole. Judging by the amount of animals we see drinking lately, it seems to have been the right choice!
It is a huge success to have fully completed the fundraiser and it is all thanks to you, our donors!
Again, thank you for your huge help!
Best regards and until next time!
Dear supporting friends,
Are you ready for Christmas? Including fir tree, crackers, Christmas songs and maybe some snow? Here in South Africa we have a whole other idea of Christmas… quite difficult to get into the ‘jingle bells spirit’ with 42 degrees Celsius and blue skies :-).
Anyway, I got loads of exciting news to tell you that has nothing to do with Christmas! First of all, did you check out the completely revamped project page already? ‘Environmental clubs for kids in South Africa’ has given way to ‘Rural community empowerment in South Africa’. Since DAKTARI’s Outreach Program is much more than just environmental clubs, we decided to create a comprehensive project supporting the whole Outreach Program. In this way, your donations will not only benefit EcoClub students, but the entire community, consisting of 3,500 residents. With only a small budget adjustment and efficient planning of village visits, we can provide more effective assistance to all walks of life. From career guidance to unemployed youngsters to implementing a waste management plan: it is all part of the project now.
However, if you wish to specifically support our environmental clubs, this is of course still possible and very much appreciated. You can choose this option in the donation selection menu on the main page of the project.
You might have seen a sneak peek of it on our Facebook page already… the brand new teaching programme we are running at two local crèches! A total of 120 toddlers ranging from 2 to 5 years now weekly participates in ‘playducational’ lessons about animals and the environment. They recently learnt what the Big 5 animals are and whether we can shoot them or not. ‘Aowa’ (Sotho for ‘no’) sounded in unison in the classroom… mission accomplished! After the December holidays we will kick off with a ‘Mr. Tree & Mrs. Plant’ lesson, excellently supported by the newly planted marula and moringa trees!
Do you remember the picture of plastic bottles filled with plastic rubbish I attached to the latest report? Well, these are so-called Ecobricks. We challenged primary and high school students to make these bricks for the benefit of their village. A win-win situation, because plastic litter goes into the bottles (cleaner environment!) and the Ecobricks will be used to build a big dustbin on the marketplace. 500 bricks are needed and we are almost there. Work in progress!
In October, we took the most improved learners from both EcoClubs on a trip to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. They were taken on a tour to meet abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife animals that are being prepared to be released into the wild again. Candice, one of the eight students, said: ‘My favourite animal was the orphaned baby rhino. I hope one day he will live a long and happy life in the wild, where he belongs.’
It fills our hearts with warmth and happiness that we could count on your support in this eventful 2015. YOU are the reason that we can empower the wonderful communities that surround us towards a better future. Christmas is a time of reflecting and counting our blessings and we feel truly privileged to have someone like you in our DAKTARI family. Thank you so much for all you have done and may 2016 become yet another memorable year of achievements in the villages!
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and may all your dreams come true in 2016!
On behalf of the entire DAKTARI team,
Toine Vos, Outreach Program Coordinator
PS: There is more! Please scroll down to the pictures to discover some other highlights and developments from the past months :-).