Dr Peter Farrant, who works with The Waterberg Trust
Nursing Sister Grace Ismail has sent us more photographs of her work in the secondary schools of Vaalwater in the Limpopo Province of South Africa:
~Examination couch with linen covers~
‘We received a donation of examination couch which is helping a lot when learners are feeling unwell and can rest before the family takes them to the clinic.
~Grade 8 pupil with chronic illness under diet supervision~
‘We received disposable sanitary pads and bras, which were distributed to leaners of Meetsetshehla and Leseding Secondary Schools. This helped our girl learners a lot and gave them opportunity of attending classes without any worry of menstrual challenges.’
~Girls who received donated sanitary pads~
‘Health education was conducted to all grade 8 learners about hygiene and communicable diseases. These are learners from both Meetsetshehla and Leseding Secondary Schools.’ It was a form of welcome, educating them on the importance of hygiene and prevention of infections in schools. ‘The team from the local government clinic who are involved in youth and gender based programs (Love Life) were also present during the sessions as motivational speakers.’
~Learners participating during class health talk~
- ‘To reinforce early childhood development from primary school level and ensure the children are well-informed with various issues that will help them to cope in Secondary School.’
- ‘Meetings with stakeholders will continue as they also contribute to support our learners i.e. The Social Development, Local Government Clinic, Social workers, Police and the Community at large.’
- ‘To continue supporting girl learners with menstrual issues whenever we receive any donation of sanitary pads in order to keep them in school when menstruating.’
- ‘To ensure that all the learners with HIV are taking their treatment and adhering to the appointment as scheduled from the clinic.’
~Transformed learner witnessing to students~
- ‘To have our own library at the school where learners can utilize for study and do their homework. The library in our township is very small that learners are unable to fit in to search for relevant study information on internet and books because of congestion.’
~Women who prepare meals for more than 500 learners daily~
- ‘Learners have a project called UBUNTU whereby they collect unused clothes from teachers and then donate to the needy in the community, presenting clothes to needy children’
~Donation of clothes to the needy children in the community~
Two pupils represented the school in Provincial competition held in Polokwane City. One boy came 1st in the high jump.~Two who excelled in athletics~
Sister Grace says, ‘I still have more work to do with primary schools next term.’
If you would like to make a donation to support Sister Grace in her work, please click here
The Waterberg Trust instigated the role of School Nurse to minister to the young people and children of Vaalwater in the Waterberg, South Africa.
-A pupil with Sister Grace, using an examination couch donated by Dr Albert Poitier-
Nursing Sister Grace Ismail is the first school nurse assigned to state schools in the Limpopo Province. She is based at Meetsetshehla Secondary School in Vaalwater where she is in the ideal position to help the emerging generation face the HIV/Aids pandemic and cope with problems such as drug and alcohol abuse in the township of Leseding.
-Tree-planting with students-
‘500 learners were reached in class this term and offered different healthy topics ranging from hygiene, infection control in schools and HIV/TB prevention.’
-Sister Grace with the Community Workers programme-
-Sister Grace working with the Life Orientation Teacher at Leseding Secondary School-
Sister Grace has also been working with Life Orientation teachers and Community Workers at the schools, getting pupils keen on growing vegetables and planting trees. This encourages everyone to look to the future and care for their environment.
-Growing fresh vegetables-
‘Some learners have psychological trauma and can’t concentrate in class due to dysfunctional families and lack of support.‘ Others have nutritional needs.
Nurse Grace initiated a re-cycling project to generate funds to provide learners with sanitary products so they do not miss school. She gives counselling and careers guidance as well as providing First Aid.
While Dr Peter Farrant of the Northern Education Trust oversees the nursing work, The Waterberg Trust provide this NGO with a grant to pay for Sister Graces salary.
If you could make a donation or monthly contribution to support the school nurse’s life-changing work, please click here for details on TWT’s Donate Page.
-Sister Grace at work in schools in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa-
We woke to the sound of birdsong and were soon up and off, walking to a site of historic interest that cannot be reached on horseback.
Being on foot gave members of the team a chance to study the insect life:
Some opted to reach the spot in the Landcruiser
which proved good for warthog-viewing.
The aim of the morning was to climb down the escarpment a little way
to find ancient bushmen paintings, preserved from weathering by overhanging rocks.
We learned about the original inhabitants of the Waterberg who called themselves the people of the eland, hunting with bows tipped with flint arrowheads.
After a quick brunch we drove into Vaalwater to visit Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding.
A portion of the money raised by the riders went to help this outreach that supports little children in the community.
Lethabo Kids Club run a ‘Back to School’ project whereby families battling to kit out their children for school can apply for one item of uniform.
Most of them chose school shoes. These are fitted properly at a local shop who are able to give a discount as up to 160 children were brought along this year.
Riders were thanked and entertained with songs and dancing as more children arrived.
Some of the performances were excellent.
The riders also met Sister Grace who has begun working as a school nurse in Vaalwater.
The Waterberg Trust provide her salary and she has an office at Meetsetshesetla Secondary School. She gave a talk explaining all her job involves, including HIV/Aids prevention and awareness.
We then visited Kamatsogo, a community based sewing project, that has a workshop and craft shop in Vaalwater selling fine embroidery and beaded crafts.
It was great to learn about this not-for-profit enterprise involving local women.
While some riders returned to Johannesburg airport to catch their flight home, others were able to stay on for a last game drive and evening of celebration under the stars.
The Waterberg Trust would like to extend a big thank you to all the riders and their supporters for raising funds and awareness to uplift the people and place of the Waterberg.
‘It was demanding but the greatest fun.’
Fifteen riders crossed seven different game reserves in six days, covering 187kms while learning about Save The Waterberg Rhino and visiting community projects that benefit young people in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
~The Waterberg Trust Challenge Horse Ride 2018~
The ride began at Ant’s Nest game reserve where team members from the United Kingdom and Bermuda learnt about Save The Waterberg Rhino.
~Rhino walking up to riders gathered on the plains at Ant’s Nest~
The challenge ride was led by Ant Baber whose family have lived in the Waterberg for five generations. He has spent the last twenty-one years re-introducing wildlife to the area.
Today, white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, baboon, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, nyala, impala, blesbok, a variety of other antelope can be spotted from horseback.
~TWT riders observing zebra on Ant’s Hill game reserve~
January proved a good time of year for there were many newborn animals.
We were able to observe breeding groups of rare species such as sable and roan antelope.
The riders helped to capture a sick eland so it could receive treatment from a game vet.
~A sick eland cow receiving veterinary treatment~
We learnt more about the area while traversing six other game reserves.
~TWT Riders crossing Lindani game reserve~
~Observing young giraffe from horseback on Lindani~
We saw golden wildebeest, red heartebeest, vervet monkeys, ostrich, black-backed jackal, bushbuck, oryx and waterbuck as well as species we’d seen previously.
~Reaching the Palala River on Jembisa game reserve~
Over the week riders were able to visit a number of charitable projects supported by The Waterberg Trust, which gave us a chance to meet local people.
~Discussing conservation issues with Clive Walker at the Living Museum~
~The Waterberg Trust Riders at Lapalala Wilderness School~
~The ‘Back to School’ project at Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding~
~Nurse Grace telling TWT riders about her work in local schools~
~The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018~
On 21st January 2018, twelve intrepid ladies – and one man – set off from Berkshire to cross the Waterberg Plateau in South Africa on horseback. The aim was to gain an understanding of this pristine wilderness and learn about challenges faced by the rural community, while raising funds to support the excellent projects being run out there.
Lying three hours drive north of Johannesburg, the Waterberg is home to the third highest population of rhino in the world. Poaching is so acute in South Africa it is imperative to guard this upland area where both black and white rhino can be protected.
Would you help us to raise awareness for Save The Waterberg Rhino, who are combating anti-poaching, and other community projects in this region?
The riders paid their own way, so every penny raised in sponsorship will go straight to The Waterberg Trust, a UK registered charity, who can send donations plus any Gift Aid, to these small but effective projects in South Africa.
~Twelve inspirational women learning about community projects~
Funds go a long way to really make a difference in the Waterberg where they are administered by trusted conservationists with years of experience. You can meet those who are striving to Save The Waterberg Rhino and protect the wilderness while uplifting communities in the Waterberg, here:
TWT have already held three annual Waterberg Trust Challenge Rides. Those taking part this year observed a number of white rhino living on Ant’s Nest game reserve, while being updated on anti-poaching initiatives by Tess and her husband Ant Baber who generously hosted the six-day ride.
The team crossed the Waterberg hills on horseback, meeting Clive Walker, a leading South African conservationist who appears in this film. He began reintroducing wildlife to the area forty years ago, becoming Chairman of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. He can be seen here speaking to TWT riders in 2016:
This year riders visited a new ‘Waterberg Living Museum’ set up by Clive to educate local people and visitors about rhino and the history of this unique biosphere.
Riders also visited Lapalala Wilderness School where pupils from Vaalwater attend residential courses on conservation sponsored by TWT. Students testify how this experience changes their outlook on life, giving them an appreciation for their environment and the future of South Africa’s wild animals. The children take their enthusiasm into the community whose support is essential if poaching is to be combated.
~TWT Trustee Sophie Neville with students at Lapalala Wilderness School~
After thirty-two hours in the saddle, the ride ended at the Palala River on Jembisa private game reserve. Before leaving, riders visited Lethabo Kids Club in the local township of Lesiding that ministers to the poorest of the poor and ensures all children attend primary school.
50% of funds raised by the sponsored ride go to Save The Waterberg Rhino and 50% to support community projects that uplift the people and place of the Waterberg.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Support the project on Social Media and receive news:
- Share posts on The Waterberg Trust’s Facebook page, please click here
- For Save The Waterberg Rhino’s Facebook page, please click here
- For the Lapalala Wilderness School’s page, please click here
- Find out more by clicking here: Save The Waterberg Rhino
- Make a donation to The Waterberg Trust, please click here for address
- Donate via The Waterberg Trust Justgiving page
As a UK registered charity, The Waterberg Trust can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, and organise transfer of funds to South Africa efficiently. You can add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ or ‘Lapalala Wilderness School’ or another project with your donation.
While the horses were being transported back to Ant’s Nest, TWT riders grabbed the chance to descend the escarpment above the Palala River on foot to see ancient San bushmen paintings, pottery shards and tools, preserved under a rock overhang.
We came across a number of things of interest including an agama.
The team then drove to the township of Leseding outside Vaalwater to visit Lethabo Kids Club.
The Waterberg Trust has been supporting their ‘Back to School’ project by helping to equip the children with school uniform, school shoes and bags.
Fundraisers were able to meet Marilyn Cook who has been running the project for more than sixeen years. They heard of her plans to provide sponsorship for tertiary education of the youth who have shown commitment to the project and help with the little ones.
On their way to Johannesburg airport, some of the riders visited Kamotsogo sewing project, a community not-for-profit enterprise that employs women living with HIV/Aids.
Others stayed on at Jembisa where they enjoyed the experience of being driven up the Palala River.
They then lay quietly on the bank taking a well-earned rest after meeting the challenges of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride and raising significant funds for projects in the area.