The first School & Community Conservation Awareness Tour, for 2019, held in February, was a wonderful success. The students from the Martin Nxumalo School and accompanying Trust Feed community members enjoyed the experience and the interaction with the environment.
The purpose of these walks is to introduce disadvantaged scholars to the environment and explain why a healthy environment benefits society as a whole. Our in-house, FGASA trained guide, Nicholas Zondi started by explaining which trees were found on the property and their critical role in the environment. During the walk the group encountered wildebeest and zebra, which drew some fantastic reactions from the kids, for many this was a first-time experience.
As the walk progressed to the dam, Nicholas did a brilliant job of answering all the questions asked, naming all the animals seen, and explaining how the ecosystem that they were currently experiencing works.
As the one teacher put it, ‘this is a once in a lifetime experience for some of these children’ so we feel it is essential to send them home with the knowledge of how they could be a part of improving their own home environment.
It is our objective that through this project, and the environmental projects the scholars are supposed to undertake, positive attitudes toward conserving our environment will develop enabling us to retain the world we would like to live in. We hope that this initial exposure, the environmental projects, on conservation and waste minimisation will result in the identification of some budding conservationists and environmental champions who can be guided and trained further in conservation.
This project is a collaborative effort between Fountainhill Estate and Mr. Joseph Memella from the Umshwati Municipality, which generously contributes by organising the participating schools, arranging transportation and providing a healthy snack and water for the scholars. Four schools are targeted annually and we trust that these visits expand the minds of more children, and fosters a passion for conservation of our environment.