Tag Archives: make a difference

The gift of a vegetable garden

The environmental consulting company Environmental Impact Management Services (EIMS), based in Gauteng, has made the astonishing gift of a vegetable garden to aid Nurse Grace in her work teaching life orientation skills at Meetsetshehla Secondary School at Vaalwater in the Waterberg.

Andrew Smith and his team of twenty environmental scientists wanted to contribute to the work of The Waterberg Trust by making a gift of their know-how before spending a weekend in the African bush.

We never guessed that they would arrive with 33 bags of compost.

The staff and pupils gratefully accepted trays of lettuce, spinach, beetroot and onion seedlings as well as a variety of much-needed seeds. ‘I was speechless,’ Nurse Grace said. It was an answer to prayer. They even brought seed markers.

EIMS also donated garden netting, watering cans, tools and ordered treated poles from a local supplier so that pupils could erect shade-netting to protect the seedlings from birds and drying out in the sun.

The team from Environmental Impact Management Services also bought a year-planner and books that provide information and advice on when to plant and how to gain optimum productivity.  Nurse Grace said, ‘We learnt a lot about keeping vegetables healthy and effective planting methods.’

School exams were in progress but the team were able to meet some of the pupils and explain how best to sustain the vegetable garden established by Nurse Grace a year ago. While Meetsstshehla has been acknowledged as a leading Green School in the Limpopo Province, nurse Grace plans to share the vision with other schools that she visits in the Waterberg.

Nurse Grace had time to discuss other plans for the community. Environmental Impact services are generously donating 95 packs of washable sanitary pads so that all the Grade 8 school girls can participate fully in school activities. A team from Dignity Dreams  in Pretoria will come to instruct both boys and girls on menstrual health when exams finish.

~Explaining to guests about our green school project~

 

Andrew Smith said, ‘We have been involved in developing an air quality awareness campaign for one of our clients over the last 12 months. The programme is aimed at education focused specifically on how burning practices in the homes and communities can negatively impact the air we breath. Burning of waste and the use of coal fires in the home for cooking and warmth during winter are some of the issues the campaign focuses on. We have rolled the campaign out in some primary schools as well and we’ve developed puzzles, colouring books, quizzes and drama competitions. We have asked our client whether they will allow us to use the material elsewhere and we’re waiting for their comments. This educational content might be something Nurse Grace, or other teachers, could use during some of the Life Orientation classes.’

~Showing EIMS part of the garden and how we make compost manure from waste~

Andrew Smith's donation 4

If you would like to make a donation towards the creation of a school vegetable garden in the Waterberg or towards multi-use sanitary pads for pupils please click here detailing your wishes. Sets of sanitary packs cost R220  and last for approx 48 months. We are hoping to raise enough money for all the school girls in the Waterberg to be kitted out.

 

Nurse Grace’s work at schools in the Waterberg

The Waterberg Trust instigated the role of School Nurse to minister to the young people and children of Vaalwater in the Waterberg, South Africa.

Exam on new bed

-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 (2)

-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.’

 

Life Orientation Teacher at Leseding HighSchool

-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.

Working in the garden

-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. 

Life Orientation - Working in the garden

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.

-Sister Grace with the Community Workers programme-

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.

Examination on new bed-Sister Grace at work in schools in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa-

60 pupils from Leseding sent to Lapalala Wilderness by The Waterberg Trust

In February 2018, The Waterberg Trust enabled 60 local teenagers from Leseding Secondary School in Vaalwater to attend a week’s residential course on environmental awareness at Lapalala Wilderness School in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The students were given a grounding in nature conservation and experienced the beauty and importance of South African wildlife.

This python was very much alive as was the chameleon that the young people also handled.

27858732_1LWS wildlife 2

The idea was to take away fear of culturally reviled animals and teach students how to handle reptiles and creepy crawlies they might encounter. When they return to the township of Leseding, the teenagers are given a mentor who they can text if they find a snake in the house or hear of worrying wildlife issues.

Everyone enjoyed the obstacle course in the African bush and learnt how to use maps in a wilderness situation.

One day they donned PFD life-jackets to experience what it would be like to swim in the Palala River. It was a great way to cool off after a hot day in the African bush.

One exercise was to build a raft and get out on the water, which was an eye-opener for many. Mr Mashudu Makhokha, Director of Lapalala Wilderness School said, ‘Raft building is one of the activities that enhance teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills.’

The pupils also studied wildlife in the river system and learnt more about water. They  learnt to identify various kinds of aquatic animals – and the basics of how to use SASS (South African Scoring System) – which uses the presence/absence of a variety of freshwater macroinvertebrates to gauge the health of riverine ecosystem.’

Co-operation, team-building and leadership training were important parts of the course. ‘Students discovered that good teamwork is essential.’

However, recycling, eco-systems, the environment and the significance of South African wildlife was at the core of this inspirational week that ties in with the school curriculum and gives the teenagers a grounding for life.

You can see the students here on an interpretive hike that gave them an opportunity to learn basic ecology and gain a changed attitude towards biodiversity.

Could you help raise funds to enable more local children to go on this residential course? It only costs R380 per person a day (about £24) so is exceptionally good value. All food and dormitory accommodation is included. The Waterberg Trust like to provide the cost of transport from the township of Leseding, to ensure that no one is excluded for economic reasons.

Thanks go to those who took part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017, who raised enough money for these 60 pupils and two of their teachers to enjoy this life-changing opportunity. Hopefully some of these young people will consider a career in nature conservation, tourism or teaching in the Waterberg.

Trustees of The Waterberg Trust took TWT Riders to Lapalala Wilderness School in January, when they enjoyed meeting the staff and learning about new projects.

TWT Riders 2018 learing about community projects in the Waterberg

You can read more about Lapalala Wilderness School here and watch this video made for their 30th Anniversary. It’s fun:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Lapalala Wilderness School is immensely grateful for the assistance that The Waterberg  Trust has given. This support has enabled 60 children and two adults to attend an environmental education course in 2018. We hope that with ongoing support from TWT, we can continue to bring young people to LWS and awaken in them a love for the environment and a commitment to conserving it.

Day 3 of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017

The riders’ drew on their experience and fitness on the third day of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride, when we covered a more than 37 kilometers riding from Ant’s Nest to Kwalata Game Reserve on the Blocklands River.

twt-ride-day-3-riders-about-to-leave-the-stable

We made up a big group of thirteen horseman with three guides and set off early in an attempt to find wildlife.

twt-ride-day-3-spotting-rhino-over-the-horses-ears

It was white rhino that we saw first, including one cow with a three month-old calf.

twt-rider-with-baby-rhino-2017

We were able to get very close as the horses are used to grazing with rhino.

white-rhino-cow-and-calf

We then rode west through the bushveldt and although we cantered at times,

day-3-of-twt-ride-finding-wildebeeste

we went slowly in an attempt to find game, pausing to watch wildebeest and zebra.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

twt-ride-day-3-wildebeest-watching-riders

After a while we came across Livingstone eland, a rare breed originating from Zimbabwe.

twt-ride-day-3-livingstone-eland

We crossed through recently filled dams

day-two-on-the-twt-ride-2017

and came across a number of new-born animals, including impala lambs.

twt-ride-day-3-camilla-watching-impala

twt-ride-day-3-impala-with-young

Once on the top of the escarpment, at some 1,400 metres above sea level, we found a breeding herd of buffalo – the bull looking at us from behind a clump of dense bush.

twt-ride-day-3-coming-across-a-bufflo-bull

He was with a number of females.

twt-rider-camilla-newton-with-buffalo-2017

We were also shown a breeding herd of rare roan antelope being re-introduced to the Waterberg.

twt-ride-day-3-roan-antelope-between-the-horses-ears

twt-ride-with-young-roan-antelope-2017

We then left Ant’s game reserve and enjoyed riding fast down sandy roads across the plateau

twt-ride-sam-cantering

and down towards the Blocklands River that flows north into the Limpopo

img_4262

img_4268

The horses were fed and watered in a secure boma originally made for buffalo while the riders were housed at the lodge in cottages that looked out over the water.

img_4266

Everyone was able to kick off their boots and relax after what had been a long day in the saddle.

img_4267

To our relief, there were bathrooms and a swimming pool to sooth aching muscles.

img_4277

And even a stuffed crocodile – luckily the only one of his species we encountered on the ride.

img_4275

To keep up with news and events of The Waterberg Trust please see our Facebook page

image002

A fundraising talk by wildlife film producer Alastair Fothergill

alastair-fothergill-speaking-about-his-series-the-hunt

Multi award-winning filmmaker Alastair Fothergill, who’s produced most of the landmark natural history series presented by Sir David Attenborough, along with five feature films for DisneyNature, flew from Los Angeles to speak at our charity fundraising event in Yorkshire hosted by TWT rider Juliet Maddan and her amazing team.

meeting-alastair-before-the-talk

Every penny raised by the talk went go straight to The Waterberg Trust who have a cost-effective way of sending it to projects in South Africa.

50% of funds raised went to Save the Waterberg Rhino and 50% went to educational projects benefiting the rural community including Lapalala Wilderness School and Lethabo Kids Club

Sponsorship was found for the drinks reception held before the talk when TWT riders served wine and canapes

riders-handed-out-delicious-food

This enabled people to meet Alastair

alastair-fothergill

and learn about projects in the Waterberg

caroline-gardner-with-peter-scrope-vice-lord-lieutenant
Former High Sherrif Mrs Caroline Gardner with Vice Lord Lieutenant Peter Scrope

The Yorkshire Party Company supplied delicious things to eat, while others kindly donated wine. Asygarth School gave the use of their auditorium and facilities free of charge.

canapes

Juliet Maddan saw everyone was settled in their seats

juliet-madden-talking-about-twt

before Alastair’s multi-media talk on his series ‘The Hunt’ made for BBC Television.

alastair-fothergill-speaking-about-africa

It featured animal behaviour never before captured on film.

alastair-fothergill-speaking-on-the-blue-whale

We also learnt quite a bit about how the sequences were made.

img_3600

A couple of questions from the audience were taken after the talk.

juliet-maddan-with-her-audience

A fundraising raffle run by Jolenta Henderson was drawn for a case of proseco donated by Edward Theakston, Alastair’s book, an Elfinglen tray and other lovely prizes.

raffle-prizes

TWT rider Mairi Hunt painted two watercolours of rhino for the event, one of which is depicted on this special limited edition Elfinglen tray, now available for £100

limited-edition-watercolour-of-rhino-on-an-elfinglen-tray

To buy one of these large handmade trays made in aid of The Waterberg Trust please contact Elfinglen by clicking here.

Limited edition bird trays are also for sale for £100 each

limited-edition-print-of-a-grebe-on-an-elfinglen-tray

A sculpture of a rhino with her baby by Unity Heald was sold in a secret auction.

rhino-sculpture

 Very many thanks to all who supported this memorable event

that has been covered by The Northern Echo and other regional newspapers.

Here are some of the film clips Alastair showed us:

Report on the second Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

Sophie Neville and wildebeeste

The dream of riding through the game reserves of South Africa became a reality for twelve British riders this March when they took up the challenge of raising £1,000 each for Save The Waterberg Rhino and local community projects.

Zebra by Sophie Neville

The team was made up of experienced riders

uphill

and, being led by Ant Baber,

Ant Baber

the pace was fast whenever the terrain allowed.

Cantering

The idea was to traverse 175kms  of remote country

Walking uphill

while taking the opportunity to learn about rhino conservation

Sophie Neville watching rhino

and discover more about the Waterberg. For further detail and more photos of this ride, please see subsequent posts.Photographing giraffe

If you would like to get involved or find out more The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here. Riders are raising sponsorship on Justgiving.com here

image002

 

Expedition Success – The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

imageThe Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 proved a great success!

image

Riders saw rhino from horseback and got very close to white rhino feeding.

image

They received a talk on the threat posed by poaching,

image

and were led over the hills of the Waterberg by Ant Baber to visit

image

Lapalala Wilderness School where local children come to learn about nature conservation.

We raised more than £18,000 for Save The Waterberg Rhino and community projects in the Wateberg. We were able to send 120 children on a residential course at Lapalala Wilderness and gave a grant to Letabo Kids Club for their ‘Back to School’ initiative in the township of Leseding.

image