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
Hello dearest sponsors,
My name is Andreas; I am filling in as an office volunteer and am happy to update you on everything that has been going on at Daktari. First of all I would like to thank every one of you for your donations and support! It is thanks to you that Daktari can keep helping under-privileged children and orphaned animals. It is thanks to YOU that we can make a difference in this world!!!!
We have quite a few new animal updates ready for you. The first one would be the release of Gerri Junior, the spotted eagle owl we told you about in the last newsletter. He has been released at Askari, a big game reserve close to us.Unfortunately our caracal May has passed away. Zulu, who had broken into her enclosure in the night attacked her. It was an extremely sad day for Dakatari and we decided that Zulu was getting too dangerous. He is now being rehabilitated in Makalali, our neighbouring game reserve, where he will then be released.The pied crow Presley had medical complications, which she unfortunately died from two weeks ago. Let’s hope Elvis recovers from the loss of his best friend quickly.
On a happier note, we rescued a baby Duiker. Duikers are part of the antelope family and this one was found in the middle of the street. After an extensive search for her parents, the people who found her called Daktari. She’s been named “Easy” and she is doing quite well! She loves playing with the little dogs and drinks her milk very nicely.We also rescued an African Hawk Eagle called Scotty. She flew into a power line and is still recovering from the severe injuries to her left wing. She will most likely never fly again but there is still hope!!! She is starting to hop around more and uses her wings to balance, which is a great sign!!
The children, as always, have been great in the last few months!! We even did another Kruger trip with the winners of the marula trees. They had a great time and were SO excited with seeing and learning all about the wild animals in the reserve. The smiles on their faces when we dropped them back off into the village is exactly why we put all this love and effort in Daktari!!
Well, this is about it, if you have any questions or would like to follow our day-to-day happenings please find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaktariAfricaTwitter: https://twitter.com/DaktariafricaOr read or blog on Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/daktaribushschooland http://www.tumblr.com/blog/daktarianimals
I would like to thank everyone that has donated so far and for following our project. Without your support we would be unable to help all these students like we do. We were able to register at with WESSA/WWF for the schools, more information will follow in the next reports. Thank you for that, it's a great step into the future of the project and into the education of these kids.
We have had a busy past few months with guest speakers at the club, lessons planned by volunteers, charitable events from other organizations and much, much more. All of the guest speakers and events has given our students confidence in themselves and hopefully will inspire them to work towards a better future.
In previous reports we mentioned Kutullo and that he got his dream placement at Khamai Reptile Park. Well he is still there volunteering and has been there nearly two months now and is still really enjoying it. Every week he phones and tells me all the amazing things he has been able to do, from holding dangerous snakes to going out on calls to remove and release animals from peoples homes. Unfortunately Khamai will not be able to employ him as full time staff due to already having a full team, but the experience and his willingness to learn will give him a better chance of getting employed in the future.
In the future we are planning to try and place as many students as we can in higher education and work placements. Usually interviews, accommodation and travel costs are a factor in where we can send the students. Hopefully with you’re continued support we shall be able to place all the students in areas they are interested in.
In May Global Vision International (GVI) held an event to raise funds for the Daktari Outreach Programme. Staff and volunteers from GVI pushed a Toyota Hilux from a gate on Karongwe Game Reserve all the way to Daktari. They delivered materials and stationary to us and raised money through sponsorship and donations. This huge feat included; 11km of dirt road with 5 hills and to the surprise of everyone at Daktari this was managed in less than 5 hours (some of our volunteers thought it would take over 9). Over £2000 and a huge amount of materials was given to us and every member of the Eco Club was ecstatic that so many people cared about them and there future. All the students and everyone that helps with the Outreach Programme would like to say thank you again and we hope that more organizations will hold similar events in the future.
The last story I want to tell you about happened a few weeks ago. Willington the president of an Eco Club we are not yet involved with contacted me 2 weeks ago. He heard two boys talking about a cattle egret they had found, which was attacked by a dog. The discussion was about taking the egret to a Sangoma (traditional healer) and selling it. This is where Willington stepped in and told the boys to give him it, and this is where he called me. We went to get the egret from the local village and brought it to Daktari where we cared and fed it. Unfortunately the injuries he received were too severe and died soon after. This is a fantastic story of the impact we have made to the community and we hope in the future this will be a more frequent occurrence.