DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

The mission of Daktari is to inspire, motivate, and educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage.
Aug 17, 2016

Environmental Education One School at a Time

Our first week of students from Nareng
Our first week of students from Nareng

The winter months are the busiest time at DAKTARI. Since June, we've welcomed 47 volunteers from 9 countries and had 78 children complete our teaching program. The spring approaches, we know we will be just as busy! 

Some very exciting news is that we have had all of the Grade 8 students come to DAKTARI from the secondary school, Rakgolokwana. That means that we are starting to take students from a new school, Nareng in Metz! The students are so eager to get to come to DAKTARI and their constant smiles are a reminder of why we do what we do every day. 

One of the most important, and sometimes toughest, lessons we teach the kids is about poaching and how it can be stopped in South Africa. We show some videos of what anti-poaching units do in South Africa and encourage them to support them. The children can write letters that we collect and send to the local anti-poaching units. This week, one student, Shamain, wrote a really touching letter (unedited)...

Dear anti-poaching unit,

My name is Sharmain and I am from Metz village. I really admire animals but I started to admire tham A lot more during my week at daktari. Really I had no idea that animals were treated this way. Anyway I would love to thank you risking your life for the animals. 

I am even insipered by your video and I know that if animals could talk they would thank you and shower you with gifts and what makes me even happier is that due to the consiquences that you find along the way you never give up. I <3 you. anti-poaching unit may god give you many days to live as you are making it your duty to give the animals long lifes. 

I want you to know that I am your number one supporter and I will always be your biggest supporter. You are one of a kind and I know that you are angles sent from heaven to save the animals from sufering even more than those who died in a bad way. Thank you...

Wrote by yours truly, 

Sharmain

:)

We are looking forward to hosting more students like Sharmain in the next few months! If you are interested in being one of their teachers, you can sign up to volunteer with DAKTARI at any time (link included below). We would love to have you! 

Until next time!

The DAKTARI Team

Sharmain from Metz
Sharmain from Metz

Links:

Aug 3, 2016

What is DAKTARI's Wildlife Orphanage?

Yster serving as an ambassador
Yster serving as an ambassador

Hello and Welcome!

Thanks to several amazing stories on the Dodo and through GlobalGiving there are a lot of new people receiving this report. If you are one of them, welcome and thank you for your support! 

There are many different types of wildlife sanctuaries out there, especially in South Africa. There are game reserves and farms where the animals roam free, rehabilitation centers that help injured animals, breeding programs to bolster the populations of endangered species, and more. 

DAKTARI's wildlife orphange is a bit of hybrid. We have a camp with animal enclosures and a farm surrounding us where animals roam free. We have some injured animals but don't consider ourself a rehabilitation center. We are not a breeding program, though we often care for abandoned baby animals. 

The animals in our enclosures are often there because they would not survive if released. Our eagles and owls cannot fly; our wild dog, Dongo, has maimed legs from being hit by a car; and Martin, our cheetah, was raised in captivity and is too old to thrive in the wild. These animals live in comfort at DAKTARI and serve as ambassadors for the local children that visit our camp. Other animals are only here temporarily, like our mongooses, who will be released once they have established the family unit necessary to survive. 

There are also animals in the farm that visit the DAKTARI camp every day. A collection of antelope species that were hand-raised by DAKTARI's staff keep coming back to say hello and get a snack. Maxi, a bushbuck, has been thriving for the past 8 years on the farm. She comes back every day to serve as an ambassador for the kids. Her many children also stop by for a visit from time to time. 

One of our favorite animal ambassadors is Yster. Yster is a porcupine that was rescued by DAKTARI as a baby. She was abandoned by her mother and bottle-fed at the DAKTARI camp. She was immediately affectionate and would cuddle up with volunteers and even the children! Once she was strong enough, she was released onto our farm. Much to everyone's surprise, that evening, Yster showed up right around dinner time! She continued to come back for a carrot and some love every night. Today, Yster is a fantastic animal ambassador. She will arrive right around dinner time and every Monday, the first night we have new children at the camp, we introduce them to Yster. She shows the children that wild animals, like Yster, should not be killed out of fear or uncertainty. As they watch her munch on a carrot, they learn to respect her and as they give her a belly rub, they learn to admire her.  

All of our animals have a special place in our hearts. They have unique, and sometimes quirky, personalities. Most importantly, all of them teach the children who visit us the importance of protecting the wildlife and the environment. Every week, the children leave with an appreciation for animals and a passion to keep them safe. 

To all of our furry (and not so furry!) residents, we say thank you and we love you!

To all of their supporters like you, we hope you get to come and see our family here at DAKTARI and meet our ambassadors in person. They, and we, thank you for the support that allows us to do what we love every day. 

Until next time, 

A humbled and grateful DAKTARI Team

Sir Martin, our resident Cheetah
Sir Martin, our resident Cheetah
Dongo, our Wild Dog
Dongo, our Wild Dog
Maxi, left, with one of her babies
Maxi, left, with one of her babies
Three of our baby banded mongooses
Three of our baby banded mongooses
Jul 27, 2016

We haven't done anything with your donation

The sleek new battery!
The sleek new battery!

Fundraising for a large project is tough. To succeed, we need to keep the funds we raise until we have raised ALL of it. As a result, there is no progress to report on. We are working to continue raising funds for our solar panel system and holding on to your donation until we’ve successfully gotten everything.

We have decided to shrink the project a bit and raise funds to buy individual batteries first – just $6,600 instead of $30,000. The lithium iron phosphate batteries we’re looking to purchase will last longer, take us less space, and be more efficient than the lead crystal batteries we are using now. Once we have the batteries, we can start looking into solar panel upgrades and other enhancements to the system so DAKTARI can have clean, reliable energy.

Our hope is that, with the smaller budget, we will be able to raise the funds more quickly and progress will be right around the corner! The main fundraising push for our solar panels will be happening in September and October. Between September 5th and October 10th, GlobalGiving UK is hosting a 50% matching campaign for renewable energy projects and we’re in! Stay tuned for more details in our next report.

Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to reaching our goals together!

The DAKTARI Team

 
   

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