Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Shamwari Education Blog February 2016

Education Blog

February 2016

Written by Sidney Clay, Education Officer

This month I had groups from Amasango Career School in Grahamstown.  The school visits us every year and the learners are special need kids. Some of them have been abused and they ended up in the streets, some are orphaned from HIV and some are from families that left them as a result of substance abuse. They saw our cats and many of the wild animals on Shamwari too. Those that came for the first time enjoyed the visit and they can’t wait for next year to visit again.

February was also busy with helping with the assessment of the Eco-School portfolios at the offices of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in Port Elizabeth. Only one of our Eco-Schools, Hendrik Kanise Combined School, submitted their file for assessment year. They were able to make it this year as well. They got the Platinum 2 award and their eco-club aims at getting the Diamond Decade award which is ten years of hard work.

Hendrik Kanise Eco-Club

Pearl from WESSA, Ndumi from SANPARKS and Sidney from BFF assessing schools Eco files

Hendrik Kanise Combined School was also visited by the explorer Kingsley Holgate for the second time.  As we work with the school and are mutual Land Rover conservation partners, we attended the event. Dave Pattle who works for Rhino Art in the Eastern Cape, arranged a bicycle sponsored by Recycle Sports as a prize for the best Rhino artwork in the entire school.  (The Kingsley Holgate Foundation has partnered with Rhino Art KZN in the Rhino Art campaign.)

It was difficult to judge the best out of about 450 posters. All were good but we managed to get one with a touching message from a grade 9 learner. Hendrik Kanise also has four learners who are known as the Rhino Ambassadors in the school because they attended a Rhino Youth Summit which was held in Durban. 

Kingsley Holgate gave a speech about rhinos and the two girls who attended the youth summit also gave a speech. Rhino Art KZN brought two musicians who play the Maskhandi music which is known to be a Zulu music. The entire school enjoyed singing and dancing along. From Hendrik Kanise, we all visited Khayakhulu Primary School for the same awareness campaign.

Learners welcoming the visitors with a song
The judges of the event with Kingsley Holgate
The BFF team with Kingsley Holgate
The Land Rover that had been transporting Kingsley
Qadasi aka David Jenkins and Maqhinga Radebe playing music for the audience
The Rhino Ambassadors with Kingsley giving their speech
Khayakhulu Primary school listening to Maskhandi music
Khayakhulu learners receiving the Rhino posters given to them by Dave Pattle

On the 27th of this month it was the Leap Day for Frogs, and because the day fell on a weekend we celebrated on a Friday. The environmental group from Hendrik Kanise joined us at the Jean Byrd centre. The learners made their presentation and I added to what they researched. They worked very hard because they touched on every aspect with regards to frogs. It was so unfortunate that I could not get them out to a wetland as torrential rain made it impossible, but the awareness surrounding the day was imprinted.

Learners holding up their poster they made for their presentation
Hendrik Kanise learners presenting
Learners presenting

After the learners had their lunch I took them back to school before the rain started pouring again. They enjoyed themselves despite the heavy rain. 

Until next month, keep well.

Sidney Clay 

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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