As you know, every Friday one of the children that have been at DAKTARI is chosen by the volunteers who have taught them over the week. The award is given to the child who the volunteers have seen improve the most over the week, not the 'best' one. The award is meant to continue with our mission of inspiring our young students further about what they have learned, but also to encourage those who we have seen flourish over the week to continue doing so.
This week's children left everyone very impressed! Not only the volunteers, who work with the children every day, but also the rest of the members of the DAKTARI team. Their friendliness, as well as their charm and willingness to learn was something which we could all feel. Although one of the girls, Karabo, was declared the winner of the week, we thought it was important to let you know how great the entire group was as a whole.
Karabo was very shy at the beginning of the week, yet as time went on, she got more comfortable and really started coming out of her shell. She participated in all lessons, especially during the Social Talks and during stabling, where she did not hesitate to ask questions and often helped out her classmates with theirs. It was a clear example of the impact we want to make at DAKTARI. Not only did she learn a lot about the environment and animals, but she also became more confident with her knowledge! As you can see below, her promises are also great!
- I promise I will respect everyone.
- I promise to not pollute.
- I promise I will take care of the environment.
- I promise I will save the environment through education.
- I promise I will put rubbish in the dustbin.
- I promise I will take care of the animals.
Working with all the children who come through DAKTARI is challenging and demonstrates the 'need' for a project like ours, the children this week serve as a reminder of just how worthwhile the hard work is. I can safely say that all the volunteers were very proud of this group. It has been a real pleasure having them, and we look forward to hearing of how the children take what they have learned on board for their future! We expect great things!
If you would like to support us to continue making stories like this possible, check us out on GlobalGiving, or donate to our fundraiser for the educational program on the button below!
We have revamped our GlobalGiving Project!
We are happy to share with you that we successfully completed our project on GlobalGiving and raised over $40,000 to provide Environmental Education for the children who come to DAKTARI! As a result we have completely revamped our project on the fundraising platform to accurately reflect the current situation and needs of our project in order to continue making an impact. We have updated the impact which each donation will make in order to give you, our donors and supporters, a more accurate and up-to-date view of how your donations are directly put into the project.
We hope for an equally successful campaign for our project 'Educate African children to save their Environment'! Through your support we will continue to provide an educational program for these children in order to inspire them to not only take care of their environment, but also to pursue careers which will make an impact on conservation.
To continue supporting our cause and our project donate on the button below!
A heartwarming story about the relationship between Anne and her Mongoose!
We often get injured animals coming to DAKTARI. The team of volunteers as a whole coordinates to make sure the animals are looked after and cared for if they are injured or need special assistance.
When Pilou arrived in late February she was taken in by the group of volunteers and nursed into a healthy baby mongoose. We found out that she was partially blind, possibly explaining why her mother left her. Slowly but surely we introduced her into her own enclosure next to Jackson and Leon, our two male, adult mongoose.
As time went on, she grew up and developed her adult fur, giving the general impression that she was growing up healthily. We later introduced her to another young female mongoose, Sonic. Due to her gentle nature and Sonic’s more instinctive and wild character, the relationship was not easy because of the imbalance of strength between the two. We tried to ensure that Pilou still ate, yet it became difficult to monitor as they were living together. In early May, on a cold Wednesday morning, Pilou was found during stabling under a tire in her enclosure, cold and barely breathing.
We quickly reacted, taking her into care and warming her up. Due to her weak state, Michele asked the volunteers if they could stay with her all day to monitor her health. Anne, one of our dutch volunteers, jumped at the opportunity, beginning what has turned out to be beautiful relationship between Pilou and her.
Over the course of the following weeks, the pair have become inseparable. Anne has become Pilou’s surrogate mother, constantly keeping her by her side or even within her sweatshirt’s sleeves! Anne prepares all the food for her every day to ensure that she is eating properly and she is hydrated. She loves to eat scrambled eggs, sausages, cucumber and pawpaw, but Anne says that she is a very messy eater!
The two can often be found sitting together on the couch while Anne is not doing lessons. Their relationship never takes breaks, as they even sleep next to each other! Moreover, because of both of their friendly natures, the children often interact with Pilou, providing a very enriching experience and one very many children enjoy.
Unfortunately, due to her nature, it is unlikely that Pilou will ever go back into the wild, but for the time being, her close relationship with Anne will nurture her to get strong and healthy again. We strongly believe that Anne’s positive energy saved Pilou’s life!
Yesterday we released Piggy Piggy back into the wild.
Needless to say, spirits have been rather low around the camp today. Our baby warthog Piggy was set free into the wild yesterday. We have been on the edge of our seats waiting for her to try and sneak into the office, or jump on the couch to play with Nikita. We then realise that she is not around any more!
After coming to DAKTARI nearly seven months ago in a very frail state of health, Piggy grew up around the camp into a big and healthy warthog. She was sometimes naughty and liked to eat the food of the other animals, as well as occasionally going into volunteer's rooms to roam around for more food. But beyond her sometimes annoying territorial behaviour on the couch, Piggy touched us all both physically and emotionally.
She is now big enough to go back into the bush and fend for herself. Although yesterday was a very sad day because of having to let go of her, Piggy's release is something to celebrate as she is going back to where she should be!
Goodbye Piggy! We hope to see her soon with her new family of warthogs!
To ensure the continuity of our project to take care of wildlife, support us here!
We recently rescued a civet!
As you may know from following us on social media, earlier this week we rescued a civet from a nearby farm. She was badly hurt and malnourished so we quickly took her to the vet, where it was discovered that she had been hit by a car a few weeks ago. This had damaged her front right leg and her hips, leaving her with a severe limp. Later that evening she came to the farm, where she is slowly but surely recovering ever since. Following the suggestions of our friends on social media, and the appearance of the animal, we have decided to name her Zorro!
Our new civet is adapting to her new life at DAKTARI. It is not always something good when a wild animal comes into the camp, but seeing the poor state it was in when it first got here, it was evident that it would not have survived in the wild. She is eating well and is getting more and more comfortable with wondering around at night!
To give a little more background to Zorro, here are a few facts on Civets.
Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, the African Civets are not felines at all but are in fact, more closely related to other small carnivores like Mongooses. The facial features of the animal resemble the racoon, with the characteristic black band around the eyes. It is most well known for the musk that it secretes to mark it's territory (called Civetone), which has been used in the manufacturing of perfumes for centuries. Moreover, it is a solitary animal with a nocturnal nature, coming out under the cover of night to hunt.
To support Zorro as well as the rest of the animals at the farm, donate here!
Say Hello to Erica!
Hi Everybody! My name is Erica Spykerman, 22 years old, and I will be the new Office Assistant at DAKTARI! It is such an honor to be working for and with such an amazing organization, who is not only helping underprivileged children but also doing as much as the can to help both the animals and the environment! DAKTARI makes you feel at home and part of the family no matter who you are or where you are from!
Thank you for all your support!
And to everybody out there, come and experience this wonderful opportunity!
So lastly, if your wondering to whom you are sending enquiries to, that would be ME. =)
All the best
We want your help!!
We are very close to finishing the funding of our project "Environmental Education for Over 300 Children"!!! All we need is $1.360!
Can YOU be part of this success?!
On Wednesday May 13th Global Giving is offering us a BONUS DAY... and all donations will be matched during the Entire Bonus Day!
This means that you can INCREASE your contribution just by donating on this coming Wednesday!
Use the above links to find the time in your country.
▪ UK: Wednesday 2PM to Thursday 5AM
▪ Europe & South Africa: Wednesday 3PM to Thursday 6AM
Click HERE to make your donation.
IT MEANS A LOT TO US!
From all of us at DAKTARI, a heartfelt thank you for your help!
We released a new porcupine on our farm!
Earlier this week we released an adult cape porcupine which we picked up from a nearby farmer! Another successful story which reflects in some way the impact that we are trying to make in the community. Through the education which we give the children, we hope that they will be inspired to make a difference in their communities by sharing what they have learned. It is very encouraging for our work to know that instead of choosing the easy way and killing the porcupine which was damaging his crops, we were called to take it to our farm.
It can now live in the wild and maybe even join the large group of porcupines living at the DAKTARI farm!
To continue our efforts to provide animals with the best care in order to make releases like this possible, help us by donating to our campaign here!
Good day everyone!
My name is Toine Vos and I will be the new Outreach Manager at DAKTARI. I am 21 years old and my hometown is Sleeuwijk, all the way back in the Netherlands. Just before I arrived at DAKTARI I acquired my Bachelor degree in Animal Sciences at Wageningen University. Now that I am graduated, it is time to share my knowledge and bring it into practice in the stunning ambiance of South-Africa!
Wow, it is already two weeks ago that I arrived at the wonderful Bona Ingwe Farm in which DAKTARI is located, but it feels like I have only been here for some days… time really flies! Upon my arrival, I got a great and warm welcome and it felt like I was part of the family from the very beginning on. Until now, I joined the short-term volunteers with providing lessons to local underprivileged children that spend a week at DAKTARI. It is amazing to see them develop and flourish during the lessons and their improvement in speaking English is just unbelievable. I feel blessed that I am offered the chance to be part of their learning process. Moreover, I am looking forward to the upcoming year, in which I will be mainly responsible for the Eco-club lessons, Homestay project and various community projects.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you who support DAKTARI from the bottom of my heart. Like I said, I have only been here for two weeks, however I can already firmly state that DAKTARI is a great project that really makes a change for people, animals and the environment, within DAKTARI as well as in the villages that surround it.
O tsamaye ga botse (meaning ‘goodbye’ in Sepedi, the local language of region), and I hope we will meet each other at DAKTARI!
Pénélope and Claude came to DAKTARI with an amazing attitude and the willingness to make the best of their stay! Leaving their families in France, these two ladies set out on an adventure where they fit right in and actively took part in all activities with an unmatched enthusiasm and energy. Their sole worry before coming to DAKTARI was their level of English, but like with the rest of challenges they faced throughout their stay, it soon became evident that it was nothing to worry about!
They wrote a short text to sum up their experience:
'We spent two weeks at DAKTARI to realise our childhood dream. What a great moment to be immersed in the bush and share the daily life with children and animals!! There is a great ambience like in a 'big family'!! We really loved our stay, and we recommend it to everybody...
The "French Ladies",
Claude & Pénélope'
Honestly a real pleasure to have these awesome ladies stay with us! Thank you for everything Mademoiselles!
We released a Large spotted Genet at Leopard Rock!
It is always a mix of emotions when an animal is released back into the wild. Although not always a good thing, an emotional link is made with every animal that comes through DAKTARI, so seeing it go brings a tinge of sadness. On the other hand, returning it into its natural habitat is something which brings joy as it is going back where it was always meant to be!
This large spotted genet came from Moholoholo Rehab Centre about a month ago, and we are thrilled to be able to set it free again now that it has grown bigger and strong enough to survive in the wild. As an animal sanctuary, DAKTARI's Wildlife Orphanage does not often do releases so being able to do this on our farm is something which we take pride in. Due to the nature of the animal and the stress that transporting it brings on its own, we decided to do this aside from the children to prevent any unfortunate incidents. As it is nocturnal, we sometimes forget that these are wild animals who can and will bite!
To continue our efforts to provide our animals with the best care in order to make releases like this possible, help us by donating to our campaign here!
Although short, we hope that this video shows you the speed of this beautiful animal as well as how well it camouflages! We couldn't see it once it got into the bush!
Farewell little one!
The new meerkat enclosure is FINISHED!
After a lot of hard work and a long wait, the new meerkat enclosure is finished! This is amazing news not only because it will allow us to give the meerkats more space, but also because it means that we can accommodate more animals that may need it and provide the mongooses with a new, larger enclosure where we can build their family. At the moment the new enclosure is being filled up with new toys and tools to enrich the meerkats but they already seem to be quite happy to be in their new home!
Unfortunately, our family of meerkats will not be able to be released back into the wild because of their close relationship with humans due to the fact that they were kept as pets before they came to DAKTARI. However, with their new enclosure, we hope to make the most of them as an educational tool for the children! They are so lovely!
A very special thank you goes out to the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and to Mr and Mrs Barry Peart for funding the enclosure! The latter did so in memory of Gina Whitaker, a close friend of theirs. We appreciate their contribution to the project and we hope they are as happy with the outcome as we are!
We hope to also decorate the lower part of the enclosure to liven up the entrance into the farm! Also, Piggy the Pig really enjoys the new enclosure as she can spend time with the meerkats and live out the Lion King!! (Also eat their food...)
We appreciate that your support makes projects like this possible! We are always thinking of new ways to accommodate our animals better as part of the Wildlife Orphanage and without your continued help, it would be nearly impossible!
If you would like to support us in this cause donate here! Just look at how happy Piggy and Madonna are in the new enclosure!
We are very happy to announce that we have joined the Jane Goodall Shoots & Roots Program as a new member!
The Shoots & Roots program was developed by the renowned Jane Goodall as a platform to empower and involve the younger generations in a community to take action and work for creating community-based solutions to big challenges. As we believe that the mission and goal of DAKTARI is very much aligned with the aim of the Shoots & Roots Program, it seemed natural to join.
In addition to the reputation of Mrs. Goodall and her legacy, joining this project will allow DAKTARI to take part in a large network of similar organisations, creating connections to share experiences and methods to empower the younger people. Moreover, the educational program which they provide as part of the project is something of great interest to us as it will serve to develop our own curriculum for both the children who visit the farm, as well as those who DAKTARI provides support for in the neighbouring communities through outreach projects such as Eco-Club.
As part of joining the project, the partner associations are encouraged to begin three projects lead by the young people of the affected communities involving children, animals, and the environment. With this in mind, our Animal Caretaker Sara began the 'My Dog My Friend' campaign with the children from the local Eco-Club. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of keeping clean and healthy dogs for the health of the community, as well as how to take care of them. With the involvement of the children we can already see some results!
Through this program we believe that we can go further in our shared objective of turning learners into leaders! Read more about the larger picture of the project here!