We believe an extremely important part of conservation is education for the local community, especially the children. It is these people who will one day be responsible for the preservation of South Africa’s flora and fauna.
We have been conducting environmental education and youth development classes as well as a sports programme at Diputhi Primary School for the past year. These classes are delivered to year 6 students, between the ages of 11 and 13, who are beginning to make choices about potential career paths. Natural sciences are already a part of their curriculum, however, we offer these students a chance to specifically explore the wildlife that lives on their doorstep. Alarmingly, something that majority of these learners have never personally experienced.
Changing Children’s Perceptions of Snakes
During one of our recent environmental education classes questions were raised from the children about snakes. In response, GVI decided to organise a reptile orientation with Khamai Reptile Centre to educate our young conservationists about the importance of snakes.
Snakes play a vital role as a part of South Africa’s ecosystems and have survived in villages similar to The Oaks for centuries. Unfortunately, these creatures are incredibly misunderstood by people living in these communities and as a result are often feared. Our aim was to teach these students of Diputhi about the value of snakes, identification of common venomous snakes found in the area and to dispel some of their fear.
The orientation at Diphuti began as expected. The children were extremely scared of the snakes, some of them jumping and others hiding. Fortunately, frowns soon turned to laughter after watching the handlers present these creatures that were not behaving aggressively and could be handled with ease. Questions began to flow and this once fearsome group were a changed bunch. GVI and the handlers of Khamai alike were incredibly happy with the overwhelmingly positive response from the learners and will continue to deliver these orientation classes to as many students as possible.
We would like to thank all the donors for helping contribute to our educational endeavours at Diputhi Primary School. Your donations have, and will continue to, make it possible for us to deliver our successful classes loved by both our volunteers and the students.
Magapane Day Care Centre
Our efforts at Magapane Day Care Centre are still continuing. The final touches are being made on the second classroom and the playground is complete. We are very excited to show you photos of the finished project and the happy owners of a viable and self-sufficient business. Watch this space!
Thank you for your continued support!