Amy and I, spreading Christmas cheer in Hoedspruit
Greetings from all of us here at DAKTARI. We hope that you are all well and getting excited about the approaching festive season!
As always, I want to say a huge THANK YOU for your continued support and interest in DAKTARI.
Before I get started on the latest news from camp, I want to let you know about a very special opportunity coming up on GlobalGiving on TUESDAY 3RD DECEMBER!! Two of our projects - our Christmas 'Sponsor a Child' campaign and our Outreach Programme's 'Eco Clubs' project - have been selected for YouthSpark, sponsored by Microsoft, which means that they can receive 100% MATCHED DONATIONS. Matching will begin at 12pm EST. That's 17:00 in the UK, 18:00 for most of Europe and 19:00 in South Africa. Donors in other countries can check the time here. So, if you're thinking about making a Christmas donation to DAKTARI and you want the opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR CONTRIBUTION, here's your chance.*
Since the last report at the beginning of September, you guys have donated over $850 through GlobalGiving. This is absolutely amazing, enough to cover the cost of environmental education for 5 children!! What is even more special is that almost all of these have been recurring donations, meaning that most of you are supporting DAKTARI on a monthly basis – we cannot thank you enough!!
We have been especially busy over the past couple of months, first of all with a French film crew coming to make a documentary about DAKTARI. Although not without it’s challenges, this was such a great opportunity for us to showcase the vital work that we do here. Seeing DAKTARI through the eyes of the film crew also reminded us of how truly special this project is and how proud we all are of what we are achieving. The documentary is due to be aired soon on French TV channel TF1 – keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more details.
Another exciting event has been Shiloweni’s annual check-up with wildlife vet, Peter Rogers. As well as monitoring the overall health of our leopard, this gives the children and volunteers an opportunity to get up close and personal with this magnificent animal. For the children, especially, this is a once-in-a-life-time experience, one that they couldn’t wait to tell their friends and family about. For the full report on Shiloweni’s check-up, please click here.
Another creature who has been teaching the children more about his kind is Hedwig, our baby Spotted Eagle Owl. Hedwig fell from the nest at a very young age and would have died without human intervention. Now safe at DAKTARI, this odd-looking ball of feathers is helping to change the perception of the kids, many of whom are afraid of owls due to local superstitions.
Of course, it’s not just the animals that are doing a great job of educating the children. We recently welcomed back 2 students from our Outreach Programme to help out at DAKTARI as volunteers. Having continued their environmental studies at Eco Club over the past few years, Ashandy and Tiras were able to share their knowledge and assist the international volunteers with the teaching programme. Not only was this valuable for DAKTARI, but it was also a great experience for Ashandy and Tiras, allowing them to develop their confidence and abilities as young adults and giving them some work experience to add to their CVs.
Marketing volunteer, Amy, and I will be outside PicknPay in Hoedspruit with Eco Club member, Jeremiah, over the Christmas period talking to the local community about DAKTARI and selling some lovely Christmas gifts to raise funds and spread awareness. If you are in the area on December 21st, please come and say hello – we would love to meet you!
So, until the next report, from everyone here at DAKTARI, we wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year!!
*Matched funding will begin at 12pm EST on Tuesday 3rd December. Check the time in your country here.
There is $250,000 available in matched funding and matching will continue for 24 hours or until these funds run out.
Only the following DAKTARI projects have been selected for YouthSpark: Christmas Gift – Sponsor a Child and Environmental Clubs for Kids in South Africa.
Matching will be applied up to $1000 per unique donor.
Ian and Michele with the French fim crew
Michele and the children meet Shiloweni
Tiras and Kobe feed baby owl, Hedwig
Eco Club member, Ashandy, teaches the kids
Jeremiah, from Eco Club, speaks to the community