DAKTARI Outreach on the Road!
As the students of the high schools were enjoying their well-deserved holidays, that meant no Eco Club for 3 weeks. However, this is not a reason for us to sit back! That is why we decided to visit Mmakadi Crèche in The Oaks village. Accompanied by a lot of volunteers and some rabbits we had a great afternoon with the toddlers. We transformed their faces into beautiful animals, taught them how to pet rabbits and played a throw-the-rubbish-game. In the end, the children took the stage to sing their national anthem and an anti-poaching song. Yep, that’s right, not even 4 years old and they know their anthem… that is what we call dedication! In exchange for these wonderful performances, the volunteers sang our custom-made DAKTARI song using the animal names in Sepedi, the local language! ‘DAKTARI has diphôôfôlô (donkey), E-I-E-I-O…’
One of the volunteers, Gabi (USA), was kind enough to share with us a few words about her experience with these younger children! Read it below!
“I was fortunate enough to have been able to go to the crèche during my stay at DAKTARI. We went to face-paint the children and sing them a song that the outreach manager wrote that included animal names in Sepedi (the local language). It was beautiful to see how culturally enriched the children are at such a young age. They sang the South African National Anthem to us and also danced. They put on skirts made of cloth and danced around a chair while a woman sang and played the drums. The children were shy at first but then they opened up after we started face painting them. After one design on their cheek, they wanted one on the other cheek, then their hand. I drew hearts all over their arms and they loved it. They were of ages 2 and older. They were all so loving and warm. A little girl and I got into a tickle fight for 30 minutes! She and the rest of the children made my heart smile. They all made me forget the concept of time and simply enjoy the moment of being there."
Interested in donating to the Outreach Program? Visit our fundraiser here!
Fresh out the press!
Here is our newsletter for the past three months! With stories about the children and all the things that have been happening at the camp!
And some great stories from the progress we have made with some animals as well as the newest members of our wild family!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and it gives you an insight into life here! If this does not satisfy your curiosity about what DAKTARI is all about, come visit us!
Thank you for your support and until next time!!
I know what you are thinking… how is this possible?!
Ask no more! DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage has partnered up with BookDifferent.com to make this a reality!
BookDifferent.com offers hotels all over the world at the lowest rates while actively making a difference through providing support to NGOs like ourselves as well as measuring the impact that your stay will make on the environment.
How do YOU make an impact?
BookDifferent.com donates 50% of the commission they charge to the hotels to the charity of your choice. That is how you can help DAKTARI by booking your next hotel! It comes at no extra cost to you, but this small gesture makes a huge difference to us!
To plan and book your next holiday, travel green, and ensure a donation to DAKTARI you must visit daktaribushschool.bookdifferent.com!
Check out the video below for a quick view of how it works!
Michelle - Volunteer in July 2015
"My stay at DAKTARI has been so rewarding. I particularly loved having the opportunity to teach. Not only do we educate children about the environment, we also show them how they have the ability to make a difference. The kids are wonderful and its been such a fulfilling experience to see how they improve throughout the week.
DAKTARI has such a welcoming atmosphere. It has been so great to meet other volunteers from around the world. My time here was short but full of exciting moments that I'll never forget."
Michelle just completed a degree in English and is moving on Teacher's College in Canada, where she is originally from. Thank you for your kind words Michelle, and hopefully we will see you again at DAKTARI!!
A freshly painted fruit stall building!
If you have been following DAKTARI for a while, you have probably noticed that we carry out various community projects in the local villages as part of our Outreach Programme. For example, we offered career guidance to matric students and business lessons to (potential) entrepreneurs; implemented a My Dog, My Friend campaign to create awareness for dog health care; our HomeStay project in which volunteers can stay the night in local families and currently we are busy with a rubbish management project. Besides this, we also run our Eco Clubs in two high schools as an extension of DAKTARI’s environmental education program.
A few weeks ago, EcoTraining, a local field guide training provider, approached us if we could help them finding ideas for a community project in the villages we work with. Of course we could… and so it happened! Circa twenty dedicated young volunteers transformed the initially rather boring fruit stall building into a stunning shopping place in the colors of the South African flag. Many villagers gathered around the building to see what was going on and a lot of them even helped with the painting works. This shows us again how amazing the community of The Oaks village is: warm, welcoming and really willing to make a change in and for their village.
A huge thank you to all volunteers of EcoTraining that contributed to achieve this beautiful and eye catching result! We bet one can now not resist stopping by in the village to buy some delicious fresh fruits, am I right? Above all, the community is very proud of their upgraded fruit building and cannot wait to welcome visitors to show them around in the market place and the village. That is what counts and where we do it for! Will you be the next visitor?
Our new Animal and Camp Manager!
My name is Marta Miguel and I am the new Animal and Camp Manager at DAKTARI. I am Portuguese and 24 years old.
After working as a research assistant with a couple animal rescue and rehabilitation centres in other African countries, I decided it was time to get my hands dirty - literally!
I arrived at DAKTARI a month ago. Like many others, I started by teaching the kids who come to spend the week at DAKTARI, alongside other volunteers. The experience allowed me to get a better idea of what the project is all about.
After spending my first week with the children, it was time to get down to business! Since then, my days are spent trying to improve our fellow residents' quality of life and making sure they are happy! That being said, two days are never the same, and there's always something to keep busy with :)
It has been such a fantastic experience being able to work with these animals, and I hope you get the chance to live it one day as well!
What has happened?
The solar power system that we have to run our farm in the most ecological way possible has broken down. The solar batteries provide power to the camp for the day-to-day use. As a result of a failing solar system, we are forced to use the generator for longer hours, making it more expensive and more polluting. Also, the power runs out more often and sometimes we have to eat in the dark!
What is the challenge, and why do we need your help?
The solar batteries provide a key service to DAKTARI. It allows us to run a fully functioning office as well as the rest of the camp while reducing overhead costs and making use of a plentisome renewable energy in Southern Africa! It allows us to keep our pollution in the middle of the bush very low, and also keeps the use of other power sources, like the generator, to a minimum. At the moment we cannot afford to fix the broken batteries or face the cost of buying new ones. This project will allow us to replace the batteries and so continue running the project with normality. Running on solar power in an area such as ours makes the initial cost of the solar system pale in comparison to the output one can obtain!
Potential Long Term Impact
The solar power system is a step further to reduce our overhead costs as much as possible looking towards the future. This will allow every donation towards running the project have a deeper impact on both the children and the animals, as more funds will be channeled towards them! Repairing the batteries will allow us to continue in our pursuit of creating a sustainable self-sufficient camp to host the children in!
Please help us by donating on the button below!
DAKTARI Rap - Travis Broadhurst
Last week's end of the week certificate ceremony had a special performance by one of our volunteers! Travis wrote a special 'rap' about the week, including the names of all the children and the entire DAKTARI team! Of course the rap loses some value in writing in comparison to the live performance, but I hope that you guys enjoy it as much as we did! Check out the lyrics below!
Went to this place, called DAKTARI.
Taught the kids wrong so I said I was sorry.
8 long weeks; the experience was mine
So I made this rap for the second time.
Came in late after Mozambeach.
Trying to adjust was such a reach.
But great kids and some great volunteers
Helped to make it abundantly clear.
That all I needed was a little excitement.
Even if I got in a fight meant
I’d be a bad example, not polite.
So I said my good mornings, and I said my goodnights.
This morning we had Lefa with the mice & rats
Wanted to show him, but he got that!
Light became a movie star.
Started at the bottom; dude she’ll go far!
She may be short, name of Evidence.
Surrounded by her friends, kind of like a fence.
Beginning of the week Chanteley was sick.
But our nurse Marilyn sure did the trick!
Never had a guy quite like Godfrey.
So nice & polite – dude it shocked me!
We’re a charity, never make a dolla
Got so many animals, including Mphala.
Oldest one in the group goes by Elefy.
Chocolate down here doesn’t compare to Nestle.
Rounds out the kids & there were 8
We truly could say that they were great.
Start with our Zulu, the coordinator Ernest
So hot in summer here; feels like a furnace.
We run together: Alex Pichard
May not speak english bit its nice to meet-char
Chris, Bri & Gabi – the american friends.
Anne’s got one week – almost the end.
Animals be important so our girl Marta
Takes care of them, like no tomorrow!
Toine & Manu work with Erica
Who’s so dependable she can getcha
Anything in the office, including the directors
Do something wrong; thank god they correct us!
Had the revolution and never liked Brits
But Samira came down & wasn’t a twit!
Hides in the office but the report that Cyrielle
Is doing will be tres bien materielle!
Our Fundraising Manager, the diligent Natalie
Could sometimes be busy but she’ll get back to me.
Love animals so much that I wrote this rap
With a cute baby bunny sitting on my lap!
Hope you guys liked it! And thank you to Travis for the awesome performance!
We want YOU to participate!
We are launching a photo contest for all volunteers, past and present! Do you have a picture which you particularly cherish from your stay at DAKTARI? Or one which you believe really captures the essence of this place?
Send it to us and we will feature it on our website, social media and on our GlobalGiving Page! We are looking to revamp our image, and what better way than to have you, our volunteers, take an active part!
We are looking for pictures around the themes of:
- Environmental Education
We look forward to getting your entries!