During the lesson
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been running any of our core outreach projects in the past three months - this includes the eco-clubs, wildlife crime campaigns, and homestays. The pandemic has created distrust towards ‘outsiders’, so rather than risking our community relationships during this period, we chose to postpone our outreach activities and focus on planning and preparation for the next calendar year. This has given our new Outreach Manager, Samuel Bishop, the chance to settle into his role and ensure that the outreach projects are fully operational and effective as soon as the local communities and schools are ready. The good news is that we now have a designated outreach vehicle. This will greatly enhance the reach of the outreach programme, and also ensure greater flexibility.
The eco-club project has not been running during the past quarter. However, the project is planned to recommence on the 18th January 2022 (after the school holidays) with Grade 9 students at Maahlamele High School. It will take place every Tuesday and Thursday after school for a cycle of six weeks. We will recruit a maximum of thirty students to ensure a more personal and better quality learning environment. Although the quality of applications will be taken into consideration, the application process will try and ensure that a range of abilities is selected - this will enable peer development.
During the last session, we will hold an eco-club awards ceremony. This is to celebrate the achievements of the students over the duration of their six week cycle. It will be held in a community venue and family members of the students will also be invited to attend. The students will present what they have learnt, and various awards will be handed out. We also hope to host all of the eco-club students at DAKTARI for one night (on a Saturday) as a reward for their hard work in the eco-club. After Maahlamele, we will repeat the process at Leoma Secondary School and Rakgolokwana Secondary School.
The homestay project has not been running for the vast majority of the past quarter. However, as of the 10th December 2021, it will be back up and running. We re-established contact with one of our reliable homestay families in the Oaks Village and agreed to start the homestay project back up again. We had four of our volunteers booked to stay with our host family. This is a great supplement to our host families’ income and a great cultural immersion experience for our volunteers and guests. We hope to build relationships with several other host families in the Oaks Village so that the project can have a wider reach within the Oaks community. We also hope to liaise with local lodges to advertise our homestay excursion to their guests too. By building partnerships with several host families in the Oaks and with several of the surrounding lodges, the homestay project will have the income generating power to significantly contribute to the Oaks’ community development.
Wildlife Crime Campaigns
A similar story to the eco-club project, our wildlife crime campaign project has not been running in the past quarter. We are now able to re-introduce this project to the surrounding primary schools - we have contacted them and they are in agreement. However, since our wildlife crime campaigns take place during secondary school examination periods (the next one is May/June), we are currently a long way off.
We are looking forward to running more community projects and will host income-generating workshops in the next calendar year.
We hope all is well on your side and thank you again for your trust and support.
Volunteers during homestay