Media Release: Learners step out on the wild side in Kruger
The General Manager of KNP’s Nxanatseni Region, Ben van Eeden addressed 40 learners who are in Grade 10 and 11 from the Mopani Region schools to the launch of the “Walk on the Wild” side project yesterday (Monday, September 13, 2010) at Mopani Rest Camp.
The Walk on the Wild was introduced as part of the SANParks Week in 2008 and targets high school pupils specifically Grade 10 and 11 from neighbouring communities. The project exposes the learners to conservation and tourism related careers. Since 2008, the project focused on the Ehlanzeni Region however in 2010, Park Management decided to roll-out the project throughout the park in order to reach all the different schools that are found nearer the park in both Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
“These young, eager minds are indeed the future of our country; therefore the future of the Kruger National Park lies with them as future leaders and conservationists of tomorrow”. “The young ones must be exposed to nature with all its beauty and wonders so that they can protect it for many, many years to come”, explained Van Eeden to the teachers and adults who attended the launch.
Learners taking part in the project have either tourism or science studies as one of their subjects and have been given an opportunity to come into the park, learn about the park and its various activities in the tourism and conservation areas.
There are regular projects and programmes run by the KNP such as the “Kids in Kruger” and “Kids in Parks” projects which are aimed at younger learners. “We realised that the park needed to have a direct contact with older learners at high school level who have chosen amongst others, tourism and physical science as some of their study directions”. “It is for this reason that we wanted to reach out to the learners with the realisation that there is possibility that they might one day work in the park”, continued Van Eeden.
Learners were further encouraged to have a positive outlook towards life, learn as much they could about the world icon that Kruger is. It was also indicated to them that they might possibly one day command respect and wear that SANParks uniform with pride while making a difference in conservation and tourism.
The learners at the launch were also addressed by the Curriculum Coordinator, RL Maake from the Limpopo Department of Education who advised them to consider the world of tourism in their studies and start doing it for themselves.
The project will run everyday during this week in both regions of the park at Mopani and Skukuza Rest Camps and will be hosted in conjunction with both Mpumalanga and Limpopo’s Provincial Departments of Education. The learners, who will be divided into five groups in both regions, will spend a night in the park, alternating daily during the SANParks Week.
SANParks Week runs from 13-17 September 2010 throughout all national parks of the country.
Laura Mukwevho, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4262, cell: 082 807 1441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com
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