The Ajubatus Foundation managed various specialist projects between 2008 and 2017 in or adjacent to the Kruger National Park, as well as supporting a Community Outreach initiative in a rural area known as Bushbuck Ridge. Over 3 million people live in poverty on the internal borders of the Kruger National Park and we felt obliged to assist the community where opportunity arose. Accordingly, the Ajubatus Wild4Kidz Programme was launched and specialised in establishing Permaculture Gardens at rural schools to develop nutritional feeding schemes.
It is hard for western society to understand the harsh realities of Africa for the most part and brief examples would include:
- Rural Schools are partly State Funded, however only children born in South Africa may benefit from a basic feeding scheme. On the other hand, most families in this region of South Africa are illegal immigrants from principally Mozambique and young children attending school are fed only a handful of maize meal porridge to sustain themselves.
- Many children as young as 11 are the principal “adult” in the family, as parents have died from TB, AIDS, or other diseases. It is incomprehensible to understand how an 11-year-old child can be expected to not only survive, but also raise siblings whilst also trying to attend schooling. This is one of the main reasons why children are forced to leave primary education and the vicious circle is perpetuated.
Based on this, the contributions made by Ajubatus provided a safe space for children and students of Berreta School to have access to nutrition, stationary supplies, and fun classroom activities with the Ajubatus team over the summer holidays. We believe in the importance of education and for students to learn on a full stomach. Through our activities, we strived to create a ‘snowball effect’ in changing the realities faced by these children and allow them to prosper in a safe and nutritional space.
More about the project
Our Wild4Kidz Program was an environmental education programme that aimed to uplift the calibre of children leaving foundation phases for high school and high school graduates by investing in young minds. While we recognise that although we cannot change the world in one day, we do inevitably influence lives daily, so we choose to make that influence a positive one. During this time, Wild4Kidz’s learning outcomes were centred around personal development and the environment; how human behaviour impacts the environment; and what can be done to transform that impact in a positive and sustainable way. Part of our mission was to leave a positive legacy at each affiliated school, leaving the school in a better state than when we initially engaged with it. The other part of our mission was to identify students with an aptitude for nature and introduce them into the conservation realm by teaching them the necessary skills they will need, such as:
Inspire kids to be well informed, responsible, and conscious individuals, who “think global and act local”, and look for solutions in everyday situations to create self-sustainability.
Beretta School started under a tree in 1985, with 3 educators and 313 kids. Since opening, it has grown to have premises and accommodates ±936 kids with 35 teachers including GradeR. Most of the kids are from challenged family conditions from the surrounding community, including:
- Child-headed families
- Grandparents are the bread winners
- Parents are unemployed
In response to these challenges, Beretta School started the permaculture programme to provide ongoing access to nutritious food, because hungry children cannot concentrate nor perform to their full potential. The gardens comprised of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers based on environmentally-friendly and organic principles. These gardens not only contributed towards the supply of quality food, but also improved the kids knowledge of the environment. As such, Beretta School has been making a difference in the community, which is key to the future of these children.
3. Environmental Education
Ajubatus worked with the Children’s Eco-training syllabus (CET) Basic Computer Classes to transfer skills and knowledge to help create future opportunities for them and the communities within which they reside.
4. Personal development and Healthy Living
Ajubatus taught them basic Life skills for their personal development and assisted with the implementation of Permaculture gardens to facilitate self-sustainability.
5. Team work
Ajubatus realised that working together produces better results than singular efforts. Our partners are great at what they do, and with our combined efforts we produced even better outcomes. Our partners included:
- Southern Cross Schools – we collaborated for reach across community programmes
- SANParks – People and Parks, Kidz in parks, Free access into Kruger and the use of their human resources
- Klaserie Children’s Eco-training – use of their Syllabus in our schools
- Netherlands Schools – volunteer exchange program
Since the Ajubatus Foundation is an NGO, we require funding, donations or volunteers of any kind to help us achieve our vision and transformation. If you can assist with any of the following, Berreta School and Ajubatus would be most grateful:
- Building of 20 schools
- Educational Bursaries
- Classroom Renovations
- Any items such as books, stationery, arts and craft materials, and sports equipment
- Feeding Schemes
- Permaculture Gardens
- Volunteers to assist with learning and the development of life skills
We hope to engage in more community initiatives in the future and to help empower young minds to achieve great things in the realm of conservation. If you can assist with any of the above, please contact us as we would be most grateful.