In September 2019 we launched our new ECO CLUB. Before then, ECO CLUB was an afterschool club where students of all ages could join and learn about the environment and sustainability. We often had classes of over 60 kids who stayed at school on Monday and Tuesday because they loved learning.
Our new ECO CLUB works a little differently. We now work in cycles of 6 weeks. Each week we welcome around 30 students on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school hours. We have a classroom set up in Maahlamele in the Oaks where we teach all of our classes. Children that want to participate in our ECO CLUB now have to apply and fill in a survey. This way, we are able to group kids of the same level together so that everyone can learn at the same speed. Before, we often had students that couldn’t keep up with the pace or got bored because it went too slow for them. With the new ECO CLUB we are able to adjust our lessons to the group of kids and get the most out of it for everyone.
These are the topics we discuss in ECO CLUB:
- The geography of Africa
- The environment
- Saving our planet
- The ecosystem
- How ecosystems work
- Waste management
- School clean-up
- The big 5 (and the other animals)
At the end of the 6 week period, the kids get quizzed on their knowledge and get awarded certificates if they completed ECO CLUB successfully. ECO CLUB is taught by our outreach manager, outreach assistant and any volunteer who wants to join.
By working with the children in the villages, we extend DAKTARI’s impact to a wider population and empower the children to be role models in their community.
With the help of the children in the ECO CLUB, DAKTARI has initiated and sponsored several community projects such as community clean-up projects, reusing rubbish to build a dustbin and planting trees at the crêche and school. We aim to not only improve the aesthetics of the community, but to instill a sense of pride and responsibility for their community into the children. That way they will take better care of it in the future.
THE JOB HUNTING PROGRAM
When the children are busy writing their exams, DAKTARI invites local unemployed youths to the camp to help them learn the skills they need to find a job.
The unemployment rate in the Limpopo province is very high, so DAKTARI offers a five day modified curriculum designed to teach young adults how to find a job. This includes CV and cover letter workshops, job interview practice and confidence building exercises. They also set up email accounts and learn basic internet skills.
As environmental education is at the core of our organization, they still have important lessons on the environment such as anti-poaching and social talks on respect, substance abuse and safe-sex. At the end of the week they leave with improved interview skills, a complete and comprehensive CV, a plan on how they will approach their job-hunting and the confidence to go out and find a job to support themselves and their family.
Throughout the years, DAKTARI has helped several youths from our job hunting program gain employment at local game reserves or even at DAKTARI.