We have a lot of news coming from the last few months! As with most projects, it has been a very intense past few months! The challenges we face day in and day out are sometimes outside of our control, but the satisfaction which rises from the positives makes it easy to overcome all the struggles. You, through your donations, have made it possible for us to overcome these difficulties and provide the educational program for the children!
In August we took the children who had been declared the ‘winners of the week’ for the previous 10 weeks on a game drive in Makalali Game Reserve. As it is home to the Big Five, the children were able to spot many of the animals they learned about at DAKTARI and see them in their natural habitat. It is at times like these, where we see the children a few weeks after their stay at DAKTARI, that we are able to really appreciate to what extent their experience with us has made an impact. A lot of the children see volunteers again and are proud to tell them that they have started doing better at school, or that they are now recycling more at home. More importantly, their fascination with and respect towards wildlife is palpable at the game drive. It is incredible to see how they are blown away by something which they have lived next to for a long time but were never aware was there!
In contrast to the success that was the Winner’s game drive; over the last few weeks we have had to face the challenge of strikes and riots in the neighbouring communities surrounding DAKTARI. In addition to blocked roads and burned cars, these have made it dangerous to drive into the villages, something which we avoided for the sake of the children as well as our volunteers. As a result, most of the schools have also been closed, making it very difficult to organize the logistics to welcome children. However, the DAKTARI Project never stops! We are very proud to say that, even though it was difficult, we never stopped welcoming children throughout the strikes! We believe that difficulties such as these should not stand in the way of offering the educational program to as many children as we can reach. We arranged to take in children from schools that were in less conflictive areas, even though the schools were all closed.
Again, a heartfelt thank you for supporting DAKTARI! Your donations make it possible for us to go out and work with the children every day. You motivate us to keep going and overcome times of difficulty! Moreover, you make a difference by allowing us to take that step further and motivate the children by being able to offer the game drive as a special prize for their efforts during the week!
From everyone at DAKTARI, as well as the children, we are tremendously thankful!
Best Regards, and until next time!
We hope that you have enjoyed your summer as much as we have our winter! There is a lot of news coming from the DAKTARI camp with regards to our animals! Over the past few weeks we have welcomed a number of animals. Either due to injury or because they were abandoned or lost their mothers, every new animal holds a special place in our heart as we welcome them here to give them a second chance at life.
We have recently welcomed two new birds to our family. On one hand we received a new Spotted Eagle Owl from Moholoholo Rehab Centre as it’s injured wing could not be successfully mended and it would never be able to fly again. As it is used to being around people from it’s stay at Moholoholo, it is very calm and absolutely beautiful. It came without a name and we could not agree on a name at the camp so you can leave a comment below with suggestions or head over to our Facebook Page to submit a name!
In addition to the Eagle Owl we also welcomed Nitro, a White Faced Spok’s Owl. She was hit by a car and rescued by a farmer nearby. Unfortunately, the collision severely damaged her eye and she has lost her vision in it. She was brought to DAKTARI as this injury means that she is no longer able to hunt, and hence fence for herself. Although small, Nitro has quite the character!
In addition to these two owls, we also welcomed a cheetah, Martin, and a baby Nyala which we called Chancy. These two additions have been incredible for both the volunteers and the children as they have been able to see two different examples of the beauty of the nature around them. Moreover, the baby Nyala has been fed every three hours, giving many volunteers and children the opportunity of interacting with an animal that is very difficult to see or approach in the wild. To read more about these two animals, you can visit our website and see the story about Martin the cheetah or Chancy the Nyala!
Your donations make it possible for us to take care of these animals and provide them with special care towards the injuries which they have come with. In addition to this, through your donations we have been able to accommodate the enclosures we have to their new tenants! Moreover, we are able to provide Chancy the Nyala with a correct diet as well as nutritious supplements so that he grows healthy. So far all these additions have accommodated very well and they are all progressing incredibly well. More news coming soon!
Again, a heartfelt thank you for supporting DAKTARI! You motivate us to keep going and overcome times of difficulty! Moreover, you make a difference by allowing us to take that step further and welcome new animals and take care of them!
From everyone at DAKTARI, as well as the children, and of course the animals, we are tremendously thankful!
Dear supporting friends,
Wow, time went by so quickly… it is already September, can you believe it?!
The past few months were filled with a broad range of activities in the Eco Clubs and as pictures say more than a thousand words, I will let them do the talking ;). However, there are some exciting developments I am very eager to tell you about.
At first we are thrilled to inform that learners from the local primary schools are also finding their way to the environmental clubs. We welcome everyone who is keen to learn about animals and the environment, so we are very happy to have them!
Remember that I told you last time about the wallet we made from an old milk carton? Well, this lesson got a follow-up as we made wall art using old cardboard and ‘treasures from nature’ (i.e. stones & twigs). This all is nice and fun to do, but actually serves a greater purpose. We aim to make the students aware of the great possibilities of recyclable materials. In the local villages the communities face a large litter problem, which is a shame, since we all know that it is very important to live in a clean environment.
As another part of DAKTARI’s Outreach Programme, we are helping the communities with implementing rubbish management. Once this is done, it is more likely for visitors to stop by in the villages (which are located along main roads). At that very moment, the children can sell their 100% homemade curios, primarily made out of things that are considered as rubbish. All in all, crafting with recyclables now will pay off in the long run! And oh, we are also working on a ‘building with rubbish’ project with the learners but I will tell you all about that in the next report :).
Last but not least I would like to raise awareness for a very special day for us. Wednesday the 16th of September, GlobalGiving is offering an opportunity that you do not want to miss! Every online donation will be 30% matched. $70 000 in matching is available, so be prepared! Matching begins at 9.00 AM EDT (South Africa: 3.00 PM – Europe: 3.00 PM – UK: 2.00 PM). On this day, your donation will even have a bigger impact on the underprivileged children; you can make the difference!
As you might know, in the past we already organized some environmentally oriented day trips and game drives for those underprivileged students that improved most in the clubs. These trips are essential in making the learners more conscious of their heritage and to take care of it: they provide the much needed practical component in addition to the theory covered in the lessons. Most children have never been able to see African wildlife, even though they live very close to numerous nature reserves. Your support will be amazingly appreciated in order to offer these excursions.
Let me end by giving a huge shout out to all of you generous donors. It is because of YOU that the environmental clubs can exist and flourish. On behalf of all underprivileged learners: ke leboga kudu (means ‘thank you very much’ in the local language; Sepedi)!
Best regards and until next time,
Toine Vos, Eco Club teacher and Outreach Programme Coordinator