Sinamatella Primary School started its new year on January 14th this year !

On this day 40 children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old, from the Sinamatella National Parks Camp, will attend school with classes ranging from kindergarten to Standard 4. There are 3 teachers who instruct the older kids in Ndebele, English, Maths and Natural Science, with an ecology course once a week. The younger kids will be looked after by volunteer parents. 

Kids from Sinamatella Primary School ©Julian Brookstein

Kids from Sinamatella Primary School ©Julian Brookstein

School hours are from 07h30 to 13h00 and afternoon sporting activities from 14h00 to 16h00 daily, there is no school on the weekends.

Before starting school all the children were given a full anti parasite treatment (kindly donated by the shareholders of Camp Hwange, and a couple of generous Makila clients, namely Mr Laurent Taleux and Mr and Mrs Donadieu), and administered and supervised by 2 qualified sisters. Their weights were monitored before and after treatment.

©Julian Brookstein

©Julian Brookstein

This is the 9th association school that has been selected to be sponsored by the “Children in the Wilderness” Camp Hwange is very pleased to be involved in this partnership.

Paul Newman was the instigator of this project; he had created a Foundation in the United States that was established to help underprivileged children. In 2000 he came on a safari with Wilderness and after mutual agreement, he sent over a team of his experts to help set up a similar project here in Africa.

©Julian Brookstein

Wilderness set about fundraising to form a trust that would enable them to offer help in the normal functioning of schools (Salaries for teachers, food for the pupils, classroom equipment, books, pens and pencils etc). Similar projects are now well advanced in Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Typically they employ at least 3 full time staff to oversee the projects in each country and now have a total of 30 staff overall.

©Julian Brookstein

©Julian Brookstein

Sue Goatley – the manager for “Children in the Wilderness” in Zimbabwe, annually selects about 70 children from the various rural schools who have shown a particular aptitude in conservation and Nature studies. These kids are then given the chance to attend a 4/5 days special courses carried out in one of the participating Safari camps. Their progress on these courses, and thereafter at their school is closely monitored and could open up the way for scholarships for further education.

Munya ©Julian Brookstein

Munya ©Julian Brookstein

Camp Hwange opens its doors for its exclusive use, once a year, for 24 kids (12 girls and 12 boys) selected on merit and motivation, from several surrounding rural schools, for a 4 day course at the camp. A team made up of Guides, Camp Staff and 3 teachers from the schools together with Sue Goatley and her dedicated team, then teach the kids, not only about Wildlife, but also natural science, the cycles of life, stars and navigation, hygiene, , working as a team etc. They participate in the working of the camp so get an insight into other future career posssibiities like cooking, management, mechanics, guiding and tracking, driving etc in the hope that they will get some sort of inspiration to motivate them further.

©Julian Brookstein

©Julian Brookstein

Once they have successfully completed Primary school, they move onto Secondary school. A good school is expensive (approximately $1200.00 per term) plus uniforms, books and stationary, plus there is usually there is one excursion during the year that adds a little more to the costs.

Understandably this is way out of reach for the normal rural family. Through this “Children in the Wilderness” initiative there is a chance, for the kids to earn a scholarship to continue with their secondary and tertiary education, or to learn a trade.

©Julian Brookstein

©Julian Brookstein

Since 2000, in the various countries supported by “Children in the Wilderness” several successful students have become full time pilots, chefs in the various camps, many have developed into excellent guides and mangers of safari camps, all bear witness to the success of this project.

©Julian Brookstein

©Julian Brookstein

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