Dear supporting friends,
You are probably very curious about what we did last month at the Eco Club, am I right :-)? I will tell you all about it, of course, but at first I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Toine Vos and since the beginning of May, I am in charge of DAKTARI’s Outreach Programme. This means also that for the next year, I will be teaching the children at Eco Club, which is without a doubt already the best part of my job. It is amazing to enlarge DAKTARI’s educational impact at the local schools and it really touches me that the children come voluntarily to learn more about the environment and wildlife.
So, what have we been up to the past month? The first lesson was a sad lesson, as Sara, our previous Eco Club teacher, said goodbye to the children. In a relatively short time she managed to built a great relationship with them of which I can only dream of. Her farewell lesson was about music and we learnt about the background of musicology and how music can be linked to animals. For example, did you ever hear of zoomusicology?! In the end, everyone could do a little performance. Even the shiest kids took the ‘stage’ and everyone applauded for each other, resulting in a visible confidence boost to the children. Priceless!
My first own lesson was about animal cognition and the goal was to learn that animals are smarter than one thinks. We read about birds, chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants, supported by video material of particular smart animals. As soon as the children saw the video of an elephant painting a beautiful tree, they were blown away. Mission completed.
Another Eco Club was dedicated to animal populations and their dynamics. All credits for the suggestion of this topic go to Thomas, a smart boy from grade 10 who wished to learn more about populations. After the introduction of the word populations, we discussed J-curves, S-curves and the food chain. Especially the girls did a good job by being very concentrated and active during the class. However, I have to say, the boys should not go unmentioned either. Tyras for example dared to be a teacher for a moment by explaining to his classmates the predator-prey relationship. And he really nailed it! Afterwards, the students did exercises on the topic, assisted by short-term DAKTARI volunteers and I. The individual attention made them visibly feel special and they all seemed to understand it. In the end, Thomas and some other kids came to tell me that they learnt a lot this week. That is the greatest reward you can get as a teacher!
Every six months the most improved children of each Eco Club get a reward, as a way to encourage all of them to do their very best. Thanks to your generosity, this is possible, for which the children and we are really thankful. However, I thought it might be good to involve the children in the fundraising process. Of course, this is only symbolic, but very valuable for example to develop their marketing skills. We started by talking about income and expenses of an NGO such as DAKTARI and made up a couple of awesome ideas to raise funds. Some kids will bake and sell cookies, whereas others will do bob-a-jobs for their friends and family. The process is supervised by Nanatjie and Jeremia; the respective chairman and treasurer. The majority of the students seem to be excited to rock this project. Definitely to be continued!
Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you who support the Eco Club from the bottom of my heart. Like I said, I have only been teaching the Eco Club for one month, however I can already firmly state that this education really makes a change for the children and hence the animals and environment. That is what motivates us and where we do it for; now and in the future!
Take care and I am looking forward to updating you about the Eco Club the coming 11 months.
Toine Vos, Eco Club teacher and Outreach Programme Coordinator
We are happy to share with you that we successfully completed our project and raised over $40,000 to provide Environmental Education for the children who come to DAKTARI! After a very succesful campaign, we believe it is time to close this project. We have shared many of the stories which have risen from the impact that we have made in the children and the community, and we hope that you feel as important as you have been for our success!
This does not mean our work is over!
We have decided to start a new campaign to completely revamp our project on the fundraising platform to accurately reflect the situation and needs of our project in order to continue making a difference now and in the future. We have updated the impact which each donation will make in order to give you, our donors and supporters, a more accurate and up-to-date view of how your donations are directly put into the project.
We hope for an equally successful campaign for our project 'Educate African children to save their Environment'! Through your support we will continue to provide an educational program for these children in order to inspire them to not only take care of their environment, but also to pursue careers which will make an impact on conservation.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for all of your support throughout this project. Your small gesture makes a world of a difference for us and, more importantly, for the children!
Best Regards and until next time!
Firstly, we would like to thank you all for your kind donations!
It has been a very hectic few months around the DAKTARI farm! As a Wildlife Orphanage we look after a large number of animals. Unfortunately, it is not always happy endings in the field, but recently we have had some success stories that we would like to share with you. These would have not been possible without your support! You are making a direct impact, both on the animals which you are allowing us to help, as well as on our motivation and drive to keep working hard at making a difference!
In May we rescued a young civet from a nearby farm. Due to multiple broken bones, the animal would have most likely died in the wild. When we found it, it was severely dehydrated and showing signs of malnourishment. However, thanks to the support that you provide through your contributions, we were able to take the animal to the vet and provide it with a healthy environment and diet for it to recover. Due to the characteristic black band around the eyes, we named the civet Zorro. She is now doing a lot better and is slowly but surely regaining her strength! Unfortunately, because of her injuries, she will not be able to be released back into the wild. Nonetheless, you are helping us give her a clean and spacious enclosure, as well as proper nutrition for her to live comfortably at DAKTARI!
Although Zorro's story has a bitter-sweet taste to it, at DAKTARI we do as much as we can to help the animals who come to us to taste freedom again if they are strong enough to do so. In these past few months we have been able to send a genet, a group of dassies, a young warthog, and a porcupine back into the wild!
Nonetheless, our main mission is to provide care for orphaned and injured animals. In addition to Zorro, we have welcomed a new baby dassie named Pepper, a young white chested snake eagle, as well as Sonic, a baby banded mongoose.
Every day we work hard to provide the best care for these animals, and your support and generosity makes this possible. The success stories we can share, like that of Zorro, are just some examples which reflect the day-to-day impact you are making. We are immensely grateful for your help!
We hope to continue sharing these stories with you! Until then, thank you again for your support. It may seem a small gesture, but it makes a world of a difference to us and to the animals and children that you help with your contributions.