Environmental Education

The concept builds on teaching the learners at school and in the wilderness, for them to take the message of caring for biodiversity and protecting the natural habitat into their communities and families. The Environmental Education School Programme has been run most successfully for a year and has been embraced by the Department of Education. It consists of two parts: regular workshops at the eleven participating schools, plus three outings for 21 participants each during the year. The 21 participants are comprised of three groups from three different schools, 5 pupils plus one teacher each. The three facilitators complete the group. These hikes are three days long, leaving on Friday to be back on Sunday, so that not too much classroom time is lost and overnighting at Mtentu Camp.

Three dynamic local people run this programme. Both, the environmental awareness work at the schools and out in the wilderness of the Mkambati Reserve focus on introducing the learners to the challenges, risks and privileges of living in a declared biodiversity hotspot. Department officials have advised the schools to allocate regular time slots to their teaching. At the schools, before and after the outing, they focus on theory and practise including the setting up of nurseries, vegetable gardens, and recycling projects. Out in the wilderness they explore, experience and find a deepened understanding about nature in general. This three-day-experience is not only about mental analysis but also about a deeper interlinking with nature and finding a sense of belonging. They have sessions on wellness and other things that impact on young people's lives.