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Positive People and Conservation Projects in the SANParks Arid Region

21 December 2012

In the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park the final four groups for the Kids in Parks Programme visited the park from the 15th-26th of October 2012. 

The Namaqua National Park hosted its second Kids in Parks Programme for the year for the first time at Groenrivier, in the coastal section of the Park. Ten schools were invited to participate in the programme and all accepted. This programme is special for different reasons: the most important one being that learners were exposed to a section of the park that are otherwise not accessible, due to the non-availability of environmental educational facilities. 

To the learners and educators it was a unique experience and for the park it was a huge pleasure to teach them about the coast and the ocean. Activities included orientation about the ocean, including tides, ocean currents and waves, Illegal fishing, coastal ecosystems detectives and lots of fun. 

The Augrabies Falls National Park made history when the Theatre for Africa(TfA) group selected the park as the venue for their Northern Cape workshop (only 1 workshop was held in each province) for youth drama training. 

The TfA group is an NGO which provides drama training to the youth in order to interpret and present local environmental, political and social issues. 7 youngsters between the ages of 20-25 years of age from Kakamas, were taught the importance of their physical fitness, how to build a story/script with given information and how to look at animals so as to interpret them during a drama. 

On the last day they presented a play to all the park staff and it was amazing to see how quickly the youth learnt and how much hidden talent was available. The youth thoroughly enjoyed the whole learning process and are very keen to learn more. If funding is secured phase 2 will entail a training period of about six weeks. This is really a worthwhile project and can lead to the youth being well trained and confident, enabling them to earn an income from being actors.

The Mokala National Park hosted two sessions of the LoveLife Core 2 Training and groundbreakers from the area interacted within a number of different areas, ranging from team building to job skills to survival in the bush.  

For the first time LoveLife visited the Richtersveld National Park in their quest to build sound relationships for the future. Also their end of year function was held in the park whereby certificates of achievements were awarded to the groundbreakers of LoveLife. The programme kicked off with a Powerpoint Presentation on the park whereafter the visiting group was  taken on a guided hike to the petroglyphs and was finally entertained with a pontoon trip.