“I would like to see Londolozi become the change it wishes to see – a microcosm of a South Africa filled with hope, friendship and a willingness to coexist; a place where the full energy flows of the land are unlocked and where the individual spirit and the capacities of Africa’s people will become evident.” – Dave Varty
These words are borrowed from Dave Varty’s book, The Full Circle, and I cannot think of a more fitting quote to celebrate the story below, which is testament to Londolozi’s long-term vision, dating back to the 1970s – to create not only what Dave refers to as “corridors of wildlife” but also “economies of wildlife” that are accessible to all South Africans.
This is the story of how 40 children experienced the Kruger National Park for the first time. We’re proud to share it with the our Londolozi community today, not only because we all share an intense love of the African wilderness, but also because Londolozi is enabled to share the benefits of “land under wildlife” because of our community. The article was originally published on the blog of Good Work Foundation, Londolozi’s not-for-profit partner.
40 New Reasons to Love Kruger & Conservation
Zero. That is the number of Grade 4 students from Tfolinhlanhla Primary School in Mpumalanga who have visited the Kruger National Park – one of the world’s most-loved natural wildlife areas located just 30kms from the school. We were astounded.
As Byron Ross – Head of Good Work Foundation’s (GWF) bizhub Conservation Academy – has said before:
How can we expect new generations to care for wildlife and anti-poaching efforts if they have no connection to nature and no understanding of the importance of conservation?
And so we made a plan. As part of the mission of Good Work Foundation’s new bizhub Conservation Academy, powered by Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), 40 students from Tfolinhlanha Primary experienced Kruger for the first time this month.
This signified an important milestone of collaboration between GWF, KMSA and SANParks, who all share a vision to grow a wider participation in the economy of wildlife, with renewed efforts to engage communities who live adjacent to wildlife areas.
The bizhub Conservation Academy, together with the help of Oriel Mhlongo, the “Kids in Parks” facilitator at Kruger, has committed to rolling this programme out to all of the children who attend the GWF Hazyview Digital Learning Campus – this includes over 500 children from seven schools in Mpumalanga and two OVC (Orphan and Vulnerable Children) programmes.
“We have been delivering conservation education on our digital whiteboards and tablet computers for almost half a year now, specifically for Grade 4 learners” said Byron Ross. “To be able to extend the learning into one of the world’s greatest nature reserves, which happens to be on our doorstep, is incredible. They’ve all seen the buffalo on their ‘Big 5’ app, now they got to see it in real life. I have no doubt that we have 40 new nature-lovers on our hands.”
Written and photographed by Accolade Ubisi, Good Work Foundation Blogger