Desiree Kgothatso with baby bushbuck
I am Nicola, a volunteer manager, writing this update about Daktari's Bush School. I must start with a big THANK YOU to all of you for your generous support. So far Daktari has raised $10,171 from 169 donors and the amount is still growing! We are just $2,677 from our goal.
Since the GlobalGiving Project Challenge 2008 ended in November we have had 35 underprivileged come for a 5 day visit to Daktari's Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage. Our last 2 groups of students from Ramatau High School both had 7 students instead of 6, this was the only way to allow all of Ramatau's grade 8 students to visit Daktari before the end of the school year. Our last group of students from Ramatau High School made a donation of R 26.50 (2 Euros or $2.69 USD) towards caring for Daktari's new bushbaby. Michele and the volunteers were surprized and overwhelmed, and almost everyone cried at their generosity.
While schools were on break at the beginning of December, for Christmas and summer holidays, there was no break for the staff and volunteers at Daktari. For the first two weeks of December Daktari took in 2 groups of orphans from Qoisi Orphanage in Bushbuck Ridge. Although Daktari's Bush School focuses on educating underprivileged children we volunteers found the orphans' visit eye opening. Senior, our cook, made extra helpings for every meal. Daktari's volunteers often bring small items as prizes for students. Sometimes these prizes are suitable for students that are much younger than Daktari's regular grade 8 students. Before the last set of orphans left, we packed up all of these items for younger children, including stuffed animals, colouring books and toys and made a collection for the younger orphans at Bushbuck Ridge, giving everyone a warm Christmas glow.
After Christmas we had a group of 9 students, who are the children of the staff of a nearby nature reserve. It was great for the children to be educated about their local environment and to have the opportunity to learn about the types of work their parents are doing. In the future we are hoping to include a trip to a neighbouring reserve within our weekly program. This would allow the children to see a larger variety of animals and learn more about the different types of employment available on nature reserves.
Now, in the last week before school resumes Daktari has 6 members of Daktari Eco-Zone attending our Bush School. Daktari Eco-Zone is an environmental club started by school children who had completed their week at Daktari. These children were so inspired by Daktari's environmental education programme that they wanted to share their knowledge and new found passion with their friends and local community. Four of the 6 visiting students were founding members of Daktari Eco-Zone and they had been asking to return to Daktari all year. The other 2 students were part of the group who had joined this environmental club without having visited Daktari.
Thanks for your support and I promise to write again soon.
Eco-Zone students preparing for their bushwalk