Great Plains Community Outreach has been very active in all spheres of our outreach over the last few months. Our conservation education program has continued with a follow-up holiday workshop with the Gudigwa Primary School Environmental Club and our craft groups have been working on new products.
A workshop was held over 2 days during the 6-week long school holidays to stimulate the children who joined us on the Selinda Reserve at the Children’s Conservation Camp last year. Tessa and Kea reunited with the children and Mokopi from Selinda Camp joined them. Mokopi grew up in a neighbouring community and was able to share with the pupils his love of the bush and why he started guiding. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and to encourage the hunger for environmental knowledge that we ignited at the camp. Other members of the Environmental club joined us for the workshop and it was special to meet them and see how they could contribute to the program.
The workshop was based at Gudigwa Primary School in order to highlight to the pupils that their home environment is also interesting and full of wildlife and needs conservation as much as the wild areas of the Selinda Reserve. The general theme of the workshop was water as the annual delta flood water was still in abundance in the area. Subjects raised during Children’s Conservation Camp 2011 were reiterated and other subjects were discussed relating back to water and it’s importance in the environment. Focus was put on water health in relation to the environment and our own health and how to ensure that pollution is minimised.
Mokopi did a superb job of explaining the complexities of the Okavango Delta and it’s annual floods to the children which helped them appreciate how fortunate they are to live on the edge of this dynamic wetland. Other activiites included singing and dancing accompanied by homemade instruments made from natural elements, taking bird and tree walks along the river and assessing the river health using bio-indicators. We are all looking forward to continuing the program at Children’s Conservation Camp 2012 which will be based at the new Selinda Explorer’s Camp in December.
Our craft groups continue to grow in size, in output of products and range of products. Of the Tipatizane products the Big Five finger puppets continue to be popular, both in shops and with the crafters, and we have started making felt purses in bright African shades featuring our Botswana love emblem or the favourite of the crafters – an elephant. Zara zara has been producing some unique bead “scarves” which can be worn in a multitude of ways to add some African style to any outfit. Our basket weavers have been busy designing traditional baskets as this is the time in the year when they can easily access the raw materials needed to make baskets and have enjoyed expanding their repetoire with our modern take on the traditional baskets – brightly beaded natural baskets – these striking baskets have proven very popular and we struggle to keep up with the demand for them. We trust that you like them as much as we do!
Great Plains Community Outreach would like to thank our guests who have generously donated stationery and beads to our various projects, your assistance is much appreciated.