Ant Baber led the fourth Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride, taking a new route across the Waterberg Plateau from Ant’s Nest to Jembisa on the Palala River to the north, covering 187kms on horseback over six days and crossing seven different game reserves.
Team members from the UK and Bermuda had been busy raising sponsorship, 50% of funds going to Save The Waterberg Rhino and 50% to community projects that uplift the people and place of the Waterberg in the Limpopo Province of South Africa
While we had excellent game viewing, we also enjoyed very good food.
Meals were served in a variety of different settings, enabling the team to get to know each other and have time to chat to guides and directors of the game reserve. It was a true safari, in that we went on a journey through the African bush.
Coming across wild animals made our spirits soar.
We were able to get unusually close both on foot and on horseback.
What the animals thought can only be guessed.
But the riders wrote to say how amazing it was. ‘I think you have a winning formula as the riding is wonderful but all the extra experiences such as the school, youth club, church and visiting Clive Walker, enriched it and made it a truly unique experience and insight into the Waterberg.’
On the second day we had a real life adventure, helping the local vet.
‘It was a truly memorable adventure’
The horses were used to approaching wildlife as they graze with other animals in the bush.
It was high summer in South Africa so the afternoons could get hot and tiring
and the road was sometimes steep
but each day was full of variety
and we developed a huge sense of camaraderie.
‘…it was just pure fun and I felt so carefree’
We each had time to develop a relationship with our horse.
While the herd enjoyed the grazing we loved finding out about the projects supported by The Waterberg Trust.
It was a privilege to meet the local people.
These included exceptional women changing the lives of children.
‘Apart from the riding, we so enjoyed seeing all that The Waterberg Trust supports. There are some incredible people involved.’
We met the conservationist Clive Walker and learned of what he had achieved for the UNESCO Biosphere and good to hear his new plans for the Waterberg Living Museum.
It was a privilege to be able to watch wild animals from horseback.
The landscape was ever-changing.
After five days in the saddle we reached the Palala River without mishap and thanks to the teams at Ant’s Nest and Jembisa, we were able celebrated the finish in style.
‘It really was a very special trip and a challenge at that.’
Special thanks go to Ant Baber and his family for looking after us and enabling us to ride across the land of their forefathers and beyond.
It was ‘a really amazing experience’.
The horses needed a good rest and the riders were tired but everyone agreed that it had been an incredible week of exploration.
TWT Riders were able to visit Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding, which has been run for the last sixteen years by Marilyn Cook – seen here in purple.
As it was the weekend before Easter we handed out Easter eggs as a treat. The youth who help on the project organised games and dancing for the children with vibrant music.
The children normally receive a glass of fresh milk and a peanut butter sandwich when they come to the club for stories and other activities each Wednesday.
The Waterberg Trust is supporting a ‘Back to School’ project here, which has been working well and ensures all the children are equipped for the new school year in January.
The state provide schooling but require each child arrive dressed in uniform, bringing a school bag equipped with stationary. Some families battle to find the money for this.
Lethabo Kids Club help by providing one item of clothing for each child. They first ask the children’s guardians to complete a form confirming they need assistance. So far, more than eighty children have been aided but the need is ever present. Some children have lost their parents and are being brought up by grannys, aunties or older siblings.
If you would like to make a donation to this project, please click here for The Waterberg Trust Justgiving.com page labelling your gift ‘Letabo Kids Club’.
Lapalala Wilderness School wins Eco School Award and inspires others
The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 is currently raising funds and looking for sponsorship to help this award winning eco-school on the Palala River in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
The Lapalala Wilderness School was established thirty years ago to give children from disadvantaged areas to have the opportunity to spend a week learning about nature conservation while gaining practical skills in the African bush.
If you would like to support this excellent educational project, you can make a donation on JustGiving via The Waterberg Trust and add a note with your donation specifying “Lapalala Wilderness School”
Photo of new baby rhino by Ant Baber at Ant’s Nest
The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 is being organised to raise funds for Save the Waterberg Rhino along with associated community education projects, to help fight rhino poaching and teach local children about the conservation of these amazing animals at the Lapalala Wilderness School.
Over 5,000 rhino have been killed by poachers in South Africa alone. The Waterberg is home to a signification concentration of rhino, second only to Kruger National Park.
PROJECTS REQUIRING FUNDING & STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
Rhino horn treatment
Tracking devices for rhinos
Equipment, such as:
• Night vision
• Thermal vision
• Hi Tech solutions
• Bullet proof vests
• Crime scene equipment
• Uniforms and kit for scouts
Anti-poaching scouts for rhino protection
Training for Anti-Poaching UNITS
Management Courses for Rhino Owners
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Donate via The Waterberg Trust Justgiving page:
As a UK registered charity, we can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, and organise transfer of funds to South Africa efficiently. Add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ with your donation.
Belinda Chaffer – http://www.justgiving.com/Belinda-ChafferTWT
Sophie Neville – http://www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Neville-TWT2016
- If you’d like to organise your own fundraising event, and learn more about the charity contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support the project on Social Media and receive news:
- For Save The Waterberg Rhino’s Facebook page, please click here.
- For The Waterberg Trust’s Facebook page, please click here
- For the Lapalala Wilderness School’s page, please click here
To find out about Save The Waterberg Rhino, click on the banner below:
The Hall of Joy at Timothy House was officially opened by the Japanese Embassy and the Mayor of Modimolle. The event was well attended by local dignitaries. This Hall is used for morning activities with the pre-school children and after school activities for those on the Youth Programme.
Stepping Forward ran a very successful campaign Lesodi Village where the reception was incredible. The programme has the potential to have a massive impact on this area as the community are open to the Stepping Forward team and are willing to hear the message of HIV prevention and awareness. Part of the founder’s original vision was to reach such very rural communities surrounding Vaalwater and they were thrilled to hear about the success of this project.
The Boys2Men soccer team have done extremely well and received a lot of interest, getting to the Nedbank Cup final.
Training sessions in Social Media, Advocacy and Monitoring & Evaluation and Fundraising is being supported by Canadian CBTAF (Technical Aid Fund).
Waterberg Waves are recording HIV Messaging and Songs to compliment the Life Matters Programme on Gig Rig Community and School Outreaches.
Matriculation Results are in. The fourteen children on the Youth Programme taking matriculation exams have all passed. Four received Bachelors and five gained Diplomas. The other five received a standard pass. Many of the students were on the soccer team and came from Alma where Boys 2 Men ran a homework club.
Zach, the Director of Timothy House, married Stefina on 23rd November 2013 at ~ Timothy House, which was a very happy event.
WWST Trustee Elaine Franklin reports that the ‘Feast of Frocks’ Boden Party held at Moggerhanger Park on Thursday 14th November was a great success.
‘The event went really well – especially during the day,’ attracting many who came along if only to buy a cake, have a cup of coffee and a look around the house. The evening was attended by keen Boden customers who had the opportunity to try on this season’s Boden Collection in the comfortable bedrooms of the lovely, spacious house.
It will be great to see how much the event raised as the proceeds come in over the next two weeks or so. Elaine said that, ‘If it proves a success financially, we plan to repeat the event in the Spring.’ Moggerhanger Park will look beautiful then and no doubt Boden will have their new summer collection of frocks ready to try on.
Well done to all who helped organise the event and supported it with their presence.
July Letsebe in South Africa
“Just eight years ago, July Letsebe was lying on his bed, seriously ill and waiting to die. But thankfully, after discovering he was HIV positive, he was given the right medication, is now healthy, and is helping others to access life saving treatment.
When July first became ill, he refused medical treatment and instead sought the advice of a healer – a common practice in rural parts of South Africa. But after a few months, he was bedridden and barely able to move. He felt desperate. “I asked my family to help me die, but they refused,” he says.
One day, a team of carers from a local project, the Waterberg Welfare Society, visited July’s tiny shack. When they saw how ill he was, they offered to drive him to the government clinic once a day for medical care. At the clinic, July received life-saving treatment for tuberculosis and also discovered that he was HIV positive.
In an incredibly brave step, he decided to reveal his HIV status at a local community event to encourage others to get tested. “People were shocked,” he says, “I could see the expression of disbelief in their faces.”
As he slowly recovered, July started training to become an HIV counsellor so that he could help other people who are living with the virus.
“AIDS does not actually kill people – lack of knowledge about it does,” says July, who manages Stepping Forward, a Comic Relief-funded HIV project in Vaalwater, South Africa. And, as someone who has lived with HIV for almost ten years, he knows what he’s talking about.
Today, thanks to HIV medication, July is healthy and is making sure that other people in remote rural areas of South Africa have access to life-saving HIV testing and treatment.”