At Kapama, our commitment to wildlife conservation is seamlessly intertwined with our dedication to making a positive impact on the communities surrounding our sanctuary. As we reflect on the strides we’ve taken in 2023, it becomes clear that our vision of supporting and uplifting these communities is not just a commitment but a journey of transformation.
Focused Initiatives for a Better Tomorrow
In 2023, our efforts were focused on several key initiatives. We concentrated on developing education skills, promoting environmental education, improving healthcare, and pursuing various passion projects. These pillars formed the foundation of our efforts to create economically sustainable livelihoods and empower present and future generations for a better tomorrow.
Maths Program: A Formula for Success
In collaboration with EcoChildren and Dr. Hannah Barnes, Kapama pioneered a Maths Program aimed at fortifying the foundations of mathematical education in the community. With the stark decline in mathematical proficiency in South Africa, we addressed the issue head-on. Thirty-four dedicated teachers engaged in capacity-building workshops throughout the year, fostering an environment where learning and teaching mathematics became an exciting journey. Our goal is to infuse the joy of learning into the classroom, making maths not just a subject but an adventure.
Ntombana Project: Breaking Taboos, Empowering Girls
The Ntombana Project, in collaboration with EcoChildren NGO, is an initiative that seeks to address the stigma surrounding menstruation in South Africa. Unfortunately, menstruation is often viewed as a taboo topic, leading to a lack of understanding and misinformation among school girls. Moreover, many girls face challenges attending school during their periods due to the unaffordability of sanitary products and lack of access to proper menstrual hygiene. In response to this, we partnered with our generous guests and provided reusable sanitary packs to 281 girls. These packs contain reusable pads, panties, soap, and educational materials on menstrual hygiene.
Our goal is to break the cycle of misinformation and promote proper menstrual hygiene practices among school girls. Through the Ntombana Project, we aim to empower girls by providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to manage their menstrual cycles with dignity and confidence. Our message is clear: Embrace the beauty of your body’s natural rhythm. We believe that by addressing the stigma surrounding menstruation, we can help girls stay in school, achieve their dreams, and live a more fulfilling life.
Makwetse Primary School Experience: Shaping Brighter Futures
Education is a powerful catalyst for change, and at Kapama, we strongly believe in making a difference by shaping a brighter future for everyone. One of the ways we seek to achieve this is by supporting the improvement of education in the communities surrounding Kapama Game Reserve, in particular Makwetse School in Acornhoek.
The interest in visiting the school was overwhelming, and we were humbled by the enthusiasm and passion displayed by the students and teachers. However, it was clear that the school was facing significant challenges, such as overcrowded classrooms, inadequate facilities, and a shortage of educational resources. Thanks to the contributions made by Kapama and our valued guests, we were able to implement significant changes within the school. These changes included the construction of new classrooms and the provision of essential educational materials such as books, pens, and stationery. We also invested in the training and development of teachers to improve their skills and enhance the quality of education.
We are proud of the impact we have made so far, but our journey towards improving education does not end here. We remain committed to creating a lasting impact on the educational landscape by continuing to support initiatives that promote access to quality education for all.
Wildlife Excursions for Makwetse Primary School
In the past, communities residing near the Kruger National Park and Private Game Reserves were often unable to experience the beauty and wonder of the wildlife that surrounded them.
We recognized that it was vital to promote a connection between children and their natural heritage, and thus, we organized a special event for 109 Grade 7 learners from Makwetse Primary School. These children were allowed to embark on a game drive at Kapama Game Reserve, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many of them had never had before. During the game drive, we engaged the children in a variety of fun games and interactive activities that not only sparked their curiosity but also instilled in them an appreciation for nature conservation and preservation. The excitement and enthusiasm on their faces were palpable, and we were thrilled to see how engaged and interested they were in learning about the environment and the importance of protecting it.
Our goal was to cultivate environmental awareness in these young minds, inspiring them to share their newfound knowledge and passion with their families and communities. We hope that by doing so, they will become active and responsible custodians of our precious wildlife resources, ensuring that they are protected for generations to come.
Employee Health and Wellness Program: Prioritizing Well-being Together
As part of its employee health and wellness program, Kapama collaborated with Hlokomela, an esteemed NGO in Hoedspruit, which specializes in providing healthcare services to rural communities. Together, they took proactive steps to prioritize the health and well-being of their staff members. Kapama partnered with the “Hlokomela Employers Health Club” to provide basic health check-ups and general consultations to their employees. Hlokomela’s mobile clinic, which is equipped with essential healthcare facilities, was set up on the reserve to provide these services to the staff members. The clinic’s services included screening for diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, blood pressure checks, and general consultations with healthcare professionals.
Moreover, the staff received education and training on disease prevention and general health and wellness. The program’s benefits were immense. The staff members received access to essential healthcare services that they might not have had access to otherwise. They could identify and address any health issues before they become serious health concerns. The program contributed to the overall well-being of the community by ensuring the continued vitality of the staff members. Overall, Kapama’s employee health and wellness program is a testament to its commitment to the well-being of its staff and community.
Celebrating Achievements and Looking to the Future
As we reflect on the accomplishments of the year 2023, we recognize that our journey towards progress is a continuous one. We are proud of the various initiatives we undertook in the areas of education, healthcare, and community celebrations, as each of these contributed to a tapestry of positive change. We are grateful for the support of our guests, whose contributions have been invaluable in helping us achieve our goals. We also acknowledge the dedication of our team, whose hard work and commitment to our mission were vital in driving us forward.
Moreover, the collaboration with our community partners has been instrumental in creating a synergy that has propelled us towards success. In 2023, Kapama was more than just a wildlife sanctuary. It was a symbol of hope, a catalyst for positive transformation, and a community that worked together for the greater good. We are proud of the progress we have made so far, and we are excited about the future. As we look forward, we are filled with optimism, knowing that the path ahead is illuminated with the promise of continued progress and positive change.