Establishing New Landmark Green Clubs
We have been able to initiate new “Green Club” projects at two additional schools this year. Since it is important to have full co-operation from the school and importantly a passionate teacher to maintain driving it, Green Clubs have not been part of most schools’ extra mural efforts and therefore the clubs will need support for at least two years before it becomes part of the schools’ ethos and structure. We have initiated this at the two schools this year at THEMBALETHU HIGH in George and VAN WYKSDORP PRIMARY in the western Cape. We work closely in partnership with Cape Nature and the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) on these.
THENAS (Thembalethu High Environmental Nature Stewards)
This Green Club was established within a large school in Thembalethu, an informal settlement in George, Western Cape. This is a particularly challenging club as environmental education is far removed from their day to day experience. We have worked hard to instill dedication and consistency to develop this initiative. The learners attend club activities every Tuesday after school, they have shown enthusiasm for the outdoors and are committed to having a positive impact on their environment. The learners have shown great responsibility and elected a president, vice president and secretary for the club.
Their activities have included:
- Three-day School Holiday Program with Waste Management during the April Holidays
- Arbor week planting activity
- Oceans day clean up
- Beautification of school grounds
- Formation of Green Club Committee
- Visit to the SPCA
- Three-day school Holiday Program July Holidays – Fynbos and biodiversity
- Beach clean-ups
- Mandela Day school garden project
The Green Butterflies
This Green Club is a remote, rural school in Van Wyksdorp, Western Cape, a farming community situated near the town of Ladysmith. We work with grade 6 and 7’s. Our activities have included:
- Two-day holiday camp July holidays – Waste Management
- Mandela Day – School Garden clean up
- Oceans Clean up Days
- Arbor Day planting event
- Establishment of Botanical Garden at school
- Establishment of Food Garden at school
- Implementing re-cycling system at school
- Day visit to Stillbaai to study early man and marine life
- Open meeting with parents and community
Kos and Fynbos – a community initiative
Kos and Fynbos is a food security project amongst marginalized communities within the Eden district There are 10 areas in George where the project is implemented and each one has an area coordinator. These coordinators teach their community how to make “NO DIG” food gardens. Landmark works closely with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in guiding this education process. The other organizations involved that assist in facilitating training, seed distribution and hands on workshops include George Municipality, Department of Agriculture, The Links Fancourt, WESSA Eden, Garden Route Botanical Garden, South Cape Herbarium, and individual persons. There is no exchange of money and there are no bank accounts. The only needs are: seed, manure, wet and dry grass, newspaper and cardboard. The project is in third year.
TSiBA is a business administration college for disadvantaged students. This is our second year of contributing to the Sustainability Department. Our program will become part of the TSiBA curriculum within the next year. Our activities include training learners in initiating and maintaining Green Clubs as part of social responsibility actions in business administration. The students here are trained to go into the communities or workplaces to set up these Green Clubs and environmental groups. We did a number of programs that included leadership skills, entrepreneurship, formation of a green club committee and sample activities to be initiated within the clubs.
Glenwood House School Environmental Programme
We continue to work with Glenwood House, now having reached its 13th year of environmental awareness through the Green Club that is well established and very active. They have a Leopard Project that focuses on Landmark Foundations Leopard and Predator program. We run various conservation programs with them throughout the year.
Our activities have included:
- Leopard camera set up
- Earth Hour awareness concert
- Arbor week planting initiative
- Numerous hikes with focus on IAP and indigenous forests
- Spekboom planting event
- Waste management program implementation
- Leopard awareness presentations
- Racing for Leopards event
- Leopard conservation program
Oakdale Agricultural School
We have also secured a strong partnership with Oakdale Agricultural School where we run a 3-day conservation camp with them during September. This is our fifth year and the program focuses on the Grade 10’s life sciences which include biodiversity, soil and land management, plant diversity, sustainable development and eco-tourism. Some of these components of life sciences are expanded on in grade 11. With these scholars becoming future farmers, we are excited to have gone through a full high-school generation and look forward to a long relationship with this school.
New Horizons for Education Outreaches in 2016
Heatherhill College in Knysna is a home schooling system following the Cambridge Curriculum. They have environmental studies as a subject. Landmark Foundation is developing a curriculum with them for next year. The structure is quite different and they do not have extra mural activities built into their daily structure. They are keen to be part of a conservation group and we will work together on environmental events such as the activities listed for other green clubs above.
We were also approached by iALA, International Academy for Leadership through Adventure. This is a one-year course aimed at bridging the gap from high school to varsity. It is based in Stillbaai but travels across South Africa with the students teaching them skills, empowering them with practical knowledge and through the travel experiences, new values are instilled. They are environmentally conscious and a great deal of the program is about conserving the natural environment. We have been asked to be part of their program with our leopard work. We will structure this in more detail next year.