The 18th of July we celebrate an inspirational legend, a man who spent his life trying to make South Africa and the world a better place. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela spent 67 years of his life fighting for human rights. Mandela Day is a day in which we remember his legacy and the challenge he left us... that each individual has the ability and responsibility to change the world for better. By giving 67 minutes of your time to help another on this day we can change the world, however if we can do so every month or even every day, just think of the changes and difference we can make.
At Sanbona Wildlife Reserve we have decided that this call needs to be answered throughout the year and so we run our Strive to Educate Project every month. Through Strive to Educate we reach out to the youth living on Sanbona and some of neighbouring farms educating them in the reasons to conserve our natural heritage. We educate them on the animals, their behaviour and tracks, the birds, plants and the history of the area that they live in, instilling in them a passion for their environment. And they in turn have taught us stories and knowledge that have been passed down to them from their families having grown up in the area. It is at this school going age where one can shape a life positively for the future and through them entrust a responsibility to protect our natural heritage and resources.
Last year on Mandela Day we re-launched the project and over the last year have seen a positive response from the youth and their parents. The children that have been more exposed to the project have become passionate about the environment and are always eager to go on an educational drive (and disappointed when the weather causes us to reschedule). Many of the children’s parents work on the reserve and so we have strived to show them the importance of their work, invoking a sense of pride in the children, that their parents are part of conserving such an important ecosystem.
This year we want to broaden the education through introducing the older youth to the different job possibilities that they can achieve after school. On Thursday 17 July the Spa Therapists and some of our Chefs spent time with some of the older youth, showing them what their jobs entitle, and the importance of their work, the opportunities available to them, and the study channels that can be taken. Some of our Therapists and Chefs are a true inspirations as they have come from the surrounding communities and once focusing their energy on their dreams, have worked their way up to reach their goal today. Within the Spa they have heard the diverse stories from each therapist and have been treated to demonstrations.
Due to the cold weather today we have decided to celebrate Mandela Day on Saturday 19 July by enjoying a safari and bush picnic with the children home on the reserve and neighbouring farms for the holidays. We would like to say thank you to Krause’s Butchery in Montagu and Montagu Spar for supplying the food and beverages for the picnic lunch. Working together as a community we can make a difference.
We plan to take the Strive to Educate Project to more of our surrounding community and continue to show the importance of conserving our natural heritage in the year to come.
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