As part of their policy of involvement in smaller parks the Virtual Region of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, decided to help a project called Far Schools. This project takes kids from outlying communities in the Northern Cape into Augrabies Falls National Park.
Visiting schools receive an educational programme which is adapted to their needs and the grades in question. This involves a detailed presentation about all aspects of the park: the waterfall, wildlife, plants & trees, People & Conservation and tourism.
Due to the nature of the arid region it is also very important for children to realize that water is a precious resource which cannot be wasted. Teaching them how to conserve water and letting them come up with ways in which they can decrease their water use is an important part of environmental education at Augrabies Falls. For most of these children the whole thing is a first - first time most of them have ever left their community, first time in a wilderness area, first time camping. This year the SANParks Honorary Rangers heeded a plea from Christine du Plessis, People & Conservation Officer at Augrabies Falls National Park, that they needed some lanterns so that the kids can walk safely from their tents to the ablutions and back.
The Honorary Rangers sourced and supplied 20 lanterns to Augrabies Falls National Park. These lanterns provide a bright light output and include solar panel as well as 220v and crank handle charging and are also robust enough to cope with teenagers and the extremes of the Arid Region. The lanterns have already been on a successful trial run with a group of 50 kids from two schools. For more information visit http://www.sanparksvolunteers.org
.Some of the children enjoying a night time visit to the Augrabies falls with the lamps lighting their way.