DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage provides supplementary environmental and life skills education to Grade 8 learners in the nearby underprivileged communities. But DAKTARI is also a wildlife Orphanage for the animals that have no possibility of being released into the wild.
The wildlife orphanage started with a blind donkey and a bushbuck. Today, more than 80 animals call DAKTARI home, including that same blind donkey and bushbuck. DAKTARI takes in animals that have no possibility of being released into the wild.
Regularly, DAKTARI welcome baby animals: meerkat, mongoose, squirrels, Sable Antelope or bush-baby. Like all DAKTARI’s animals, they play a large role in the children’s education about the environment.
The children interact daily with the animals at DAKTARI’s wildlife orphanage. The animals live in enclosures throughout the camp or live free in the bush surrounding camp. Twice per day, the children assist our volunteers and staff with animal feeding and care. Sometimes the children and volunteers can help raise small animals until they can be released back into the bush.
The DAKTARI Wildlife Orphanage offer the opportunity for the students to see a cheetah, jackal, or even a meerkat in person. Unfortunately, many of children have never seen the local wildlife even if they live near the Kruger National Park. The cost of entering these game reserves, both national and private, is too high for their families to afford. Their faces light up when they arrive and see a cheetah have a meal or have a squirrel jump on their shoulder. This experience inspires the children to want to protect these animals them!
Every time a year, when the children are writing exams, DAKTARI manage a Job Hunting Program week. Usually, DAKTARI welcomes 8 students in the camp from Monday to Friday. But last week the Job Hunting Program was organized in the neighbouring village. Our outreach manager and her team welcomed four local youths looking for a job: Nico, Lucy, Dalene, and Ingrid.
This program focuses on giving these youth the skills they need to find a job. They had lessons on CV writing, cover letter writing, job interview skills, and using email to reach out to potential employers and following up on applications. Then, once a month, a workshop is organized in the village to follow up the students if they need more help.
For a week the students worked hard and have left the Job Hunting Program with a renewed hope of finding a job. We are confident that these hardworking individuals will soon be employed.
The outreach program manages eco-clubs in two local schools to teach the kids about environmental subjects such as conservation. A second part of the program is a waste management project with the local community. The village has a terrible rubbish problem. The aim of this project is to work with the Oaks village to try to solve their lack of responsible waste management.
On March 1st the Outreach Manager and her assistant met with the market committee of the Oaks Village to discuss the cause of the rubbish problem in the village and what solutions can be put in place.
This meeting was also the opportunity to give them two wheelbarrows which had been donated by Lasher Tools, and to do a rubbish clean with the committee members at the marketplace.
The next step of this project is to meet with the other committees in the village to discuss the problem and unite on a greater level.
Thank you again for your valuable contribution.
The DAKTARI Team