HESC-Paulos Ngobeni

Community Engagement

Greenery Project: Paulos Ngobeni Primary School

HESC, in conjunction with Camp Jabulani (HESC’s sister property), introduced the eco-project in 2010 to assist the Paulos Ngobeni Primary School to grow and enhance their own vegetable gardens, and to facilitate a much needed soup kitchen for the learners and the surrounding community.

Daphney Makubele, principal, commented: “In permaculture, nature is respected and looked after because we also benefit from plants concerning food, medicine, shade, aroma, beauty products and combating soil erosion. The success of the greenery project relies on our committee, which includes our sixty learners, six community members, two general workers, four educators and the support of HESC and Camp Jabulani. Each year we gain more or less R6 000 from our vegetable garden. Part of the funds are then ploughed back into the project, while the majority of the funds are used to improve the school.”

Dr Riana Stone taught the teachers and learners hands-on techniques, such as making your own compost, which species of plants to plant together or to keep apart and advised them regarding planting seasons for different vegetations and watering techniques.

The project educated Grade 5 learners to grow their own vegetable gardens and produce vegetables in order to start a soup kitchen at the school. The learners visited HESC and were taken on an in-depth tour followed by various activities where they assisted the students of the Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE) in their daily duties. The children learned how to nurture the earth, grow their own vegetables, discover more about nutrition and gained hands-on experience in the process.

Education programme

HESC is actively involved in the education of learners, students and the general public about the necessity of conservation, and has partnered with the rural school, Lumukisa Preparatory School, located 30 km from the centre.

This partnership gives underprivileged students the opportunity to learn more about endangered wildlife, particularly the cheetah and rhino. Groups of 16 learners visit the centre throughout the year, accompanied by 4 teachers. During these visits they assist the staff, as well as the students of the Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE), as they go about their daily duties. They are taught about conservation and the beauty of wildlife.

The school is in need of basic essentials such as pens, rulers, school uniforms and shoes, school bags, class supplies and equipment. A comprehensive wish list is available for any donations.

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is actively involved in the education of learners, students and the general public about the necessity of conservation. This includes a community outreach programme and the Rhino youth-art conservation initiative.

Involvement with schools in the community:

Lumukisa Preparatory School

HESC has partnered with the rural school, Lumukisa Preparatory School, located 30 km from HESC. This partnership gives underprivileged learners the opportunity to learn more about endangered wildlife, particularly the cheetah and rhino. Groups of 16 learners visit the centre throughout the year, accompanied by 4 teachers. During these visits they assist the staff as they go about their daily duties and are taught about conservation and the beauty of wildlife.

The school is in need of basic essentials such as pens, rulers, school uniforms and shoes, school bags, class supplies and equipment.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme

HESC had the pleasure of hosting Doctor Omara Afzal and Doctor Ann Marie Beddoe from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, along with Molly Lieber, a qualified social worker who was doing research on their project. The doctors are both qualified obstetrician gynaecologists.

Doctor Afzal came to Hoedspruit to assist in the prevention of cervical cancer. Together with Hlokomela clinic in Hoedspruit and HESC, Doctor Umara started the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (CCPP). This programme trained the nurses of the hospital in cervical cancer detection, as well as teaching the women from the community about the disease. In Sotho Hlokomela means ‘farm workers care for each other’. The hospital provides care for the surrounding community and in turn those in the community care for each other by teaching younger women about the disease. Because of the CCPP more women are becoming aware of the growing threat cervical cancer poses. Every month there is a presentation facilitated by the nurses on how to prevent cervical cancer and to use family planning.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which affects DNA in its host, can cause abnormal growths to occur in the cervix. This can lead to cancer if not caught in time. The Hlokomela clinic provides patients who are HIV+ with the antiretroviral tablets they need to stay strong.  Women who are HIV+ are more likely to contract cervical cancer. This is where CCPP comes in. Through their training, the nurses at Hlokomela clinic are now able to provide women with cervical scans to detect and, if necessary, treat cervical cancer.

Hlokomela is a non-profit organisation and helps all patients free of charge.

Rabies Campaign – Bushbuckridge

HESC believes in being actively involved with surrounding communities, both with the people and with their animals. HESC has been involved in a successful rabies vaccination campaign and assisted the Mpumalanga State Veterinary Services in vaccinating as many dogs as possible against rabies. The vaccination campaign was conducted together with an intensive awareness programme to educate dog owners about the disease and how to prevent it.