Courtesy of Molly Brown…
Nakavango’s community project aim for 2015 is to make a more significant impact in conservation education and this is achieved through our visits to the local primary schools. We are delighted to now be assisting Masuwe Primary School (MPS), after having achieved our objectives at Jabulani Primary School. Jabulani Primary School is receiving ongoing support from other organisations, and they will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our new initiative is being truly embraced at MPS as we focus on our goal of educating the children about practical conservation activities, which the pupils will be able to apply at school and at home. Our team finds it most exciting that this knowledge will be carried with them as they grow into young, conservation-aware adults!
During the first few months of 2015, we have achieved some outstanding results. One of our first projects was to construct some more signs for the school and erecting them at intervals a few kilometres, helping guests and parents to find the school more easily. From this first project, it became obvious that the children really loved their school – they wanted to be involved in everything we were doing to improve their school! Their enthusiasm was so motivational that the first thing our volunteers did when returning back to camp was to create posters and flashcards to use on future visits to enthuse the children even more about learning.
Our volunteers experienced a great sense of achievement in constructing a new playground area for the children. Swings, a slide, a seesaw and a small jungle-gym were donated for the playground, allowing the children to play the type of games that were never a possibility before – the children had never even seen such playground equipment before. The entire school waited after school hours for our volunteers to arrive just to see their new toys arrive and thank the team. Once the children had overcome their shock of seeing of seeing such magical new toys, we decided to make it even more special and spray paint the equipment which now looks stunning. It’s safe and couldn’t be more fun for the children!
Our latest project at MPS is under construction: a new pathway and decorative quad. Alongside our team, many of the young students and all the teachers, including the wonderful Headmistress, have managed to construct an incredibly eco-friendly pathway by incorporating the concept of “Reduce, Red-use. Recycle”. The pathway’s border is made of hundreds of “Chibuku” bottles, otherwise destined for the landfill site. The bottles had been collected from existing landfill sites and from our volunteers’ litter sweeps. The bottles were filled with sand and embedded in the shallow troughs along the pathway border. The bottle boundary looks especially lovely in the sunshine when they glisten against the sand. This project is nearly complete, and all that’s left is for our volunteers to plant some of the indigenous Sausage Trees cultivated in our Nakavango nursery in order to add a little more greenery to the centre quad’s pathway.
Masuwe primary School’s spirit must be congratulated as this is a school that makes the most of every activity and chance they’re given. The Nakavango team felt privileged to join the school at their Sport’s Day event a few weeks ago. This day will never be forgotten – just the amount of energy these wonderful children have in the midday heat of Zimbabwe is remarkable. The Nakavango team handed out refreshments including Mazoe orange crush and pieces of apple and oranges. All the children competed extraordinarily well and managed to further stun the Nakavango team with their continuous spirit and joy throughout the day.
Stay tuned for further news on our upcoming projects at the school… we will be clearing the way for a car park and designing a mural for the Grade 0’s classroom. The mural will combine all the different aspects of rural life onto one beautiful piece for the children to see every day, giving them an extra reason to smile when they go to school!