The education of learners, students and the general public in conservation activities is one of HESC’s main objectives. Subsequently, the centre has undertaken a number of educational activities and has partnered with many like-minded organisations and campaigns.
Tourists & Scholars
Opening the centre’s doors to the public in 1990 represented a great opportunity to educate and raise awareness among the public. Tours to the centre have a strong educational focus, encouraging individuals to embrace their ability to make a difference to global conservation. In excess of 10 000 learners per year visit the centre as part of their curriculum oriented school-journey service outings. The didactic focus is tailored to the level of the visiting group and educators leave with hard copy of learning material to use as resource material. In this way, HESC becomes a living presence in the classrooms of each visiting school. All resource material is professionally designed and ties in with the SA National Curriculum Criteria.
Local Underprivileged Schools
HESC tries to actively support underprivileged schools in the local area, either by direct donations or through providing school visitations and tours. In the past, HESC has supported Paulos Ngobeni Primary School with donations including: vehicles, computers, furniture, stationery and other needed items. HESC also offered an opportunity for the learners to visit the centre annually.
In April 2016, we partnered with Lumukisa Primary School, located in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, South Africa. The school supports 987 learners and 19 teachers.
As part of the partnership, we try to assist the schools with much-needed equipment by sharing their wish lists with the participants of the Wildlife Conservation Experience, as well as with visitors to the centre and our supporters. Funds may also be raised by visitors or interested parties.
The Rhino Art Project
The Wildlife Conservation Trust and HESC have partnered with Grant Fowldes and The Kingsley Holgate Foundation. They formed an organisation called Rhino Art, whose purpose is to communicate children’s voices against the scourge of rhino poachers. HESC is responsible for contacting schools in Gauteng and the Greater Kruger area, while the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Grant Fowlds are responsible for the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape regions. The collective focus is to gather the largest number of heartfelt children’s video messages ever recorded, as a call to action against rhino poaching and all forms of wildlife crime!
The Wildlife Conservation Experience & The Scholars Programme
HESC has a number of internal educational programmes including the Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE) and the Scholars Programme. The WCE programme is an intensive conservation course offered by HESC. Students of the course are exposed to the full spectrum of HESC’s activities, from feeding the animals, to assisting veterinarians with procedures. The Scholars programme is of a similar nature but tailored for a younger demographic. Together these programmes aim to share the conservation philosophy of the centre.
To find out more about our many educational activities, refer to the education section of our blog.