Here's how these kids are breaking barriers to become the next conservationists of Kruger

Image: Beautiful News.

Every year, thousands of people travel to the Greater Kruger National Park to experience South Africa’s natural wonders.

They anticipate sightings of the Big Five and sunsets over the untouched savannah. But on the outskirts, children who live nearest to this environment have no access to it.

While their parents work at the collection of game reserves, they are left to face poverty, poor infrastructure, and limited prospects.

Recognising this division, Corné Havenga is uplifting these children to improve their education and become the next generation of conservationists.

In 2004, the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve developed the Eco Children project which hosts workshops at the park.

“Even though the staff of Klaserie have access to the reserve on a daily basis, their children who live a mere 10 kilometres away do not,” Havenga says.

During their holidays, kids can now learn about the wildlife and ways to conserve the ecosystem.

To enable children to flourish alongside their environment and meet their basic needs, the initiative has begun partnering with schools in the Acornhoek area.

Here, Havenga and her team have helped to rebuild and repair classrooms, kitchens, and sanitation facilities.

They have also created libraries with over 14 000 books to boost children’s literacy, and assist students to pursue opportunities through a bursaries programme.

At each school, Eco Villages consisting of gardens and classrooms bolster the kids’ environmental education.

Brought to you by Beautiful News

The children learn to tend to the soil and grow their own crops, receiving nutritious vegetables in return.

“It’s important for us to empower the youth to want to activate change,” Havenga says.

With the capacity to better their circumstances, these children can pursue a fulfilling life and care for their environment.

The wellbeing of our natural world is dependent on our ability to preserve it.

By confronting the injustices that children face, they have the means to take the future of the planet into their own hands.