Rural community empowerment in South Africa

by DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage
Apr 30, 2012


This is Mmoga, he is soo proud!
This is Mmoga, he is soo proud!

Thanks to your donations we were able to organise a little trip for our Eco Club Students.

Last week we organised 2 trips to Khamai, the Reptile Park nearby. There were 20 students from the Eco Club selected to join us on this amazing trip. These 20 students had to make a little report on what they learned that day so that they could give a presentation to the other students of the Eco Club the following week.

Because we mixed two of our Eco Clubs on the trip, we started with introductions! They were still a bit shy, but all excited for what the day would bring. After the introductions we had a slideshow presented by Given, who works at the Reptile Park. He gave us a lot of information about the different reptiles and snakes. How to recognise them and what to do when you come across one. Normally the local people kill anything that looks like a reptile! This causes snake bites, because people have no idea what they are doing, they make the snake scared and agressive and they make a lot of mistakes trying to kill it. That's why it is so important to educate the local community, Khamai even has a free service to come and remove the snake from people's houses.

The children were all glued to what Given had to say.They tried to answer all his questions and asked a lot of questions as well. They were taking notes and drawing the differences. After the introduction slideshow, the children could walk around and see all the reptiles in the park. They were amazed!

And then the most exciting part of the day started.... each student had the opportunity to have a big snake around their neck! Some were really brave and offered to do it straight away, others needed some help from the other students. They all helped each other and were convinced to take this crazy opportunity.

After a short lunch break, of which the food was sponsored by our wonderful volunteers! We got a little demonstration from Given.... He showed how 3 of the most dangerous snakes responded when you accidently get too close and what you should do, first with the Puff Adder, then the Boomslang and last but not least the Cobra! Wauh that was some excitement.

Given also showed some spiders and scorpions, teeth, and bones and skins of snakes. The students had such an amzing time. Then they finished the day with a present, a keyring with their picture with the snake around their neck! They were so proud!

One of my older students, Kutullo, who has finished his matric, but was not accepted at university because they were full and has no job at the moment, fell in love with the Reptile Park! He absolutely loved it, took in all the information and you could see how he enjoyed the day. By the end of the day he told me, now he knows for sure what he wants to do, he wants to work at Khamai! He would love to start just as a volunteer cleaning the cages, he doesn't mind, as long as he can learn more about these fascinating creatures.

That's why we do what we do, we educate, make the local community safer by education and if we can even inspire our students for their future, that is a big bonus!

The week after the students who were at the Reptile Park gave a presentation in front of all the other Eco Students about their trip and what they learned. They did so well; they were drawing on the board, asked questions and had discussions with their peers. 

Of course we would love to offer this to all our students, but for that we need your help. There is a possibility that Khamai could come to the schools to give demonstrations for the Eco Clubs, but this costs 25 rand per student plus 200 rand for petrol. I think this would be a great experience and a big reward for all their hard work! Please help us get Khamai over to the school for their education!

Thank you.

This is Kutullo, he wants to work there.
This is Kutullo, he wants to work there.
Retsephile is not scared at all.
Retsephile is not scared at all.
But Grace & Edna were really scared...
But Grace & Edna were really scared...
The first group all together holding the snake.
The first group all together holding the snake.
The second group all together!
The second group all together!



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Organization Information

DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

Location: Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Micah Heineck
Outreach Volunteer
Hoedspruit, Limpopo South Africa
$6,733 raised of $19,848 goal
184 donations
$13,115 to go
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