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 has said before, how can we expect new generations of young people 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 (GWF) 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 Open Learning Academy – 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, Conservation Academy Coordinator. “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.”

To find out more about GWF’s bizhub Conservation Academy, click here.

Enjoy the photos!

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The children of Tfolinhlanhla Primary School get ready for their first ever game drive with “Kids in Parks” Facilitator, Oriel Mhlongo (centre back). Of the 40 children who were part of this outing, not one had ever visited Kruger.

 

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The face says it all. Kruger is on this learner’s doorstep and he has lived next door to this great wildlife area for 10 years. Finally he gets the opportunity to see it himself!

 

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Here’s a man you’ll all recognise. Head of Open Learning, Crispen Bvumbghe, who has been a driver of the Conservation Academy vision and is always challenging the “how” and “what” of education.

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The vision of the Conservation Academy is to grow a wider participation in the economy of wildlife, with renewed efforts to engage communities who live adjacent to wildlife areas.

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The visit was made up of a game drive and then an interactive tour of the wildlife and conservation museum at Skukuza Camp.

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The Conservation Academy programme will continue at Hazyview Digital Learning Centre with weekly lessons presented using apps, eBooks and digital devices.

Written by the Good Work Foundation Media Academy. Photos by Accolade Ubisi.

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