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May 26, 2011

Some news from Daktari

Lots of love before the surgery
Lots of love before the surgery

Dear Friends of Daktari, 

You haven’t heard from us for quite a while. It is because we have been very busy the last 3 Months and every single minute was worth it for working hard on Daktari’s goals.

First we had the GlobalGiving Bonus Days Campaign. Thanks to you, Daktari has been able to raise R 7,050.00. This amount helps us to cover the education/accommodation/food of 10 underprivileged children for a whole week at Daktari. What a great help of yours! 

In the past we honoured the child with the best results of the week with a little tree that was to be planted in the school. Now we decided to take in addition every two months the 10 best students to Kruger National Park for further wildlife- and job opportunity-experience. Well, and certainly also for a treat. The Kruger Park management enabled us to bring our ten best students every two months, free of charge, to the park. Daktari did the first excursion with the children coming from Leoma School. The volunteers sponsored the petrol of the car to make it possible. It was a real success!! But we certainly cannot always ask the volunteers to pay for the petrol and the usage of the car. That is the reason why we invented a new donation-button of the GlobalGiving page. Your usual support is also for this project very much welcome.

In Mai we had our Recurring Donation Campaign with GlobalGiving. We managed to get 14 donors motivated to make a recurring donation for Daktari of a total amount of $ 239. Thank you so much for your support! Succeeding in this challenge will also give us an extra bonus of $ 500 in about 4 month when the reccuring donations will have been honored. 

We have all plans ready for our new project and the button prepared for donations to get started. “Teach 125 Wildlife-Club Kids in rural village”. Basically the plan is to do a follow up and support the wildlife clubs that have been created by the children who previously visited Daktari. The project will employ one person who will go every day of the week to dynamise and assist the 5 wildlife clubs of the village.

The project aims to have a direct influence in schools and villages by extending Daktari’s already existing program. The aims of this program is to educate underprivileged children about the benefits of recycling, reducing pollution and anti-poaching; to provide guidance and tools to apply successfully for Eco-tourism jobs; to enable the schools to obtain the South African Eco-label; to organize trips to wildlife sanctuaries. It’s a great opportunity to encourage this project by making a recurring donation!!! 

Besides all the money-talk… Daktari was cut off for days from civilization in January due to heavy rainfalls. We received two Pied Crows named Elvis and Presley which joined our family and our donkey Freddy lost by an operation his manhood to calm him down in his moods.

All in all we must say that we had exciting, successful and happy months and look forward to what comes up next. We will keep you posted and thank you so much again for your support. We certainly don’t take all your donations for granted. 

The children and the animals of Daktari send you a big hug!

Volunteer teaching Maths
Volunteer teaching Maths
The children in their classroom
The children in their classroom

Links:

May 2, 2011

GlobalGiving Visits Daktari

I had an opportunity to spend a day and night at Daktari, visiting with Michelle Merrifield and her husband and counterpart Ian.  This was truly an eye-opening experience for me, because I did not grow up with animals in my house.  The closest thing I had to a pet was a goldfish in a tank that my brother, sister, and I foolishly tried to clean one night by refilling it in our bathtub, only to wake up the next morning to see that we had broken the seal of the tank and all 10 gallons had leaked onto the floor.  Being surrounded by wild animals of all kinds, ostriches, warthogs, a leopard, a donkey, a porcupine, etc. was an entirely new experience for me.

That said, I am so grateful to have had the chance to spend time at Daktari and to learn so much about the good they are doing in their surrounding communities.  Michelle and Ian use animals to educate children about life, caring for those that cannot help themselves (a lot of the animals came to the orphanage because they were injured in some way and left to be killed or experimented with), and social etiquette like politeness and being considerate of others.  Every week Ian drives to a school that is more than an hour away to pick up a group of eight to ten 8th grade students.  The students spend a week “camping” out at Daktari, where they learn about wildlife, participate in classes about basic math and reading, and also discuss life issues like how to reject drugs and alcohol and practicing safe sex.  Their days are packed with activity from a dog walk that starts at 7 a.m. to dinner that is complete by 8 p.m. 

Volunteers help maintain the camp and also serve as coaches and mentors for the kids.  Michelle and Ian also live on the bush school grounds, and they have visitors there 90% of the year.  In 2010, kids were visiting 49 out of 52 weeks.  Michelle and Ian exude passion and enthusiasm for the children they serve and the animals they care for that is contagious.  It is clear that the kids and animals love them just as much.  Michelle and Ian have literally given up all personal freedom and luxuries to fulfill their vision.  Michelle, for example, moved from a big city in France to the wild, with no electricity, and the closest airport more than five hours away.  What they have been able to build and maintain is really special and unique, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with them.

May 2, 2011

GlobalGiving Visits Daktari

I had an opportunity to spend a day and night at Daktari, visiting with Michelle Merrifield and her husband and counterpart Ian.  This was truly an eye-opening experience for me, because I did not grow up with animals in my house.  The closest thing I had to a pet was a goldfish in a tank that my brother, sister, and I foolishly tried to clean one night by refilling it in our bathtub, only to wake up the next morning to see that we had broken the seal of the tank and all 10 gallons had leaked onto the floor.  Being surrounded by wild animals of all kinds, ostriches, warthogs, a leopard, a donkey, a porcupine, etc. was an entirely new experience for me.

That said, I am so grateful to have had the chance to spend time at Daktari and to learn so much about the good they are doing in their surrounding communities.  Michelle and Ian use animals to educate children about life, caring for those that cannot help themselves (a lot of the animals came to the orphanage because they were injured in some way and left to be killed or experimented with), and social etiquette like politeness and being considerate of others.  Every week Ian drives to a school that is more than an hour away to pick up a group of eight to ten 8th grade students.  The students spend a week “camping” out at Daktari, where they learn about wildlife, participate in classes about basic math and reading, and also discuss life issues like how to reject drugs and alcohol and practicing safe sex.  Their days are packed with activity from a dog walk that starts at 7 a.m. to dinner that is complete by 8 p.m. 

Volunteers help maintain the camp and also serve as coaches and mentors for the kids.  Michelle and Ian also live on the bush school grounds, and they have visitors there 90% of the year.  In 2010, kids were visiting 49 out of 52 weeks.  Michelle and Ian exude passion and enthusiasm for the children they serve and the animals they care for that is contagious.  It is clear that the kids and animals love them just as much.  Michelle and Ian have literally given up all personal freedom and luxuries to fulfill their vision.  Michelle, for example, moved from a big city in France to the wild, with no electricity, and the closest airport more than five hours away.  What they have been able to build and maintain is really special and unique, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with them.

 
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