Apr 16, 2019

The Inside OAKS Project

Front side of the Inside OAKS Project
Front side of the Inside OAKS Project

On the 9th of March we took part in a global art project named the Inside Out Project together with an ex-volunteer and her brother. This exhibition was called the Inside OAKS Project. 72 portraits were taken. Some of them featured our volunteers, staff and local people from the Oaks Village. The objective of this art exhibition was to teach children about the importance of the environment.

DAKTARI helped to hang all of the portraits on the big market place in the Oaks and afterwards children from the local schools entertained us with song and dance. Those who were hungry were able to enjoy some delicious boerewors. The end result looked stunning and was visible from very far away. Most of the people who attended this event were locals from the Oaks or from towns nearby, but we also had some Dutch tourists who made a little detour on their roadtrip to come admire the portraits!

With your help we can continue to set up new projects and find new ways to create awareness and stimulate community development.

Back side of the Inside OAKS Project
Back side of the Inside OAKS Project
Working on getting all of the portraits up
Working on getting all of the portraits up

Links:

Apr 16, 2019

How promises make the kids reflect on their week

The kids at DAKTARI come to us for a week of environmental education and fun. They spend 5 days with our volunteers who teach them as much as possible. Besides topics about conservation, the lessons range from being polite to the different kind of jobs in a game reserve and even to safe sex.

During their week here the kids transform from very shy and introverted children to whom they really are. They spend their last night around the bonfire singing and dancing to their favourite songs. The morning after that, they get a few lessons and some free time before having the ending ceremony.

This ceremony is a moment where they all read their promises. But what are these promises? Well, during the week the children get a chance to reflect on what they find important for their country. They go over what they learned at DAKTARI and think for themselves what they value most. They then write their promises down and read them to the whole group during the ending ceremony on Friday morning.

We see a lot of the same promises returning over the different weeks like promising to protect animals from poachers or promising never to hurt others. But sometimes the kids add in their own things because they take these promises very seriously. One kid a few weeks ago for example promised that he would always take care of his mother. The promises act as a sort of medium for the children to really think about what they learned and to think about how they can turn this knowledge into actions to make South Africa a better place.

Besides reading the promises, the ceremony on Friday also includes choosing a winner of the week. The volunteers get a chance to choose a leader of the group who is then crowned the winner of the week. This winner is the student who tried hardest during the week, who was the most polite or the one who progressed most over the days. Being the winner of the week means they get an extra gift in their bag. Besides that they also get a tree to plant somewhere in the village and they are invited to go on a game drive with the other winners.

 

Apr 16, 2019

Lots of babies at our animal orphanage

George the baby squirrel
George the baby squirrel

Wow, the past few months have been very busy here at DAKTARI. We’ve been raising lots of babies and some of them have even been released already!

Most of the babies that have come in these past months are squirrels and mongooses. We found/welcomed a total of 6 squirrels, 4 of which are now happily roaming around our camp and one of which is still quite small and is still learning how to climb. The last one of the squirrels sadly died. He was only a few days old when he fell from the roof and had some internal damage. We tried to take care of him for a few days before he died from his injuries.

As hard as we try, it’s not always possible to save the animals that we find or that are brought to us. When the injuries are internal, there’s no way for us to heal them or when the animal is already too weak when it arrives, it’s sometimes not possible to save them.

We did however successfully take care of 3 baby mongooses. Monty is the oldest and is currently in an enclosure next to the rest of our bigger mongooses so he can be integrated in the group in a few weeks. Django and Teddy are a bit smaller but are also eating on their own already and love rolling around in their enclosure. Once they’re big enough we’ll also try to integrate them into the group so we can release all of them in a later stage.

The last baby that came in only two weeks ago is Pacou, a baby waterbuck. He’s the cutest little thing and he’s still getting used to his new environment. He’s started taking little walks around our garden where our sheeps keep him company, but he still spends a lot of time in his own camp to rest. We’ve made a video on how we take care of animals like him that you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQsEXgrzaIo&t=7s

Monty the baby mongoose
Monty the baby mongoose
Pacou the waterbuck
Pacou the waterbuck
 
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