HESC and our local community come together for 30 orphaned children.

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.
Christmas came early this year, for 30 orphaned children.
Over the past three weeks, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), with the help of many incredible people and companies from our local community, hosted three groups of orphaned children from a local orphanage. Their ages varied from seven to seventeen.

Obstacle course fun

Each week, a group of ten children, stayed at our centre to use as a base to learn about the wildlife conservation, the environment and their natural heritage. We hosted them at Nungu Camp, and they had delicious meals throughout their stay.
The children all stayed in our Nungu camp accommodation

Each week’s itinerary was packed with exciting activities and educational experiences, also giving them the opportunity to work together as team. Their days were spent learning about our amazing wildlife in South Africa, to making beaded artwork, physical activities, sightseeing around the area, and even a visit to Camp Jabulani for a memorable elephant experience.
The elephant carers sharing info on the elephants.

Moments with the elephants at Camp Jabulani

Their evenings were spent sitting around the campfire at Nungu camp, with the sounds of lions roaring in the background as they shared all their stories from each days activities. Coming from such unfortunate backgrounds, the experience from the week was something they had never experienced before, and would treasure for a lifetime.

A massive thank you to Corlet Grobler (our Anti-poaching Unit K9 Trainer at HESC) and Willa Riekert (maintenance and education supervisor at HESC ), who took the time and effort to co-ordinate these three weeks, as well as to Johan, our student co-ordinator for working his magic with the kids, as usual, together with Corlet and Willa.
Sightseeing at Blyde River Canyon

But none of this would have been possible without our local community coming together in the amazing way that they did. Twenty local businesses came together to support us by donating different items such as groceries, Christmas gifts, T-shirts, fuel, and local activities, to make the week extra special for the kids. We were in awe of everyone’s generosity and kindness when we reached out to them.
Thank you to the following companies: 
Buco Hoedspruit
Drakensig Motors
Blyde Adventure Centre
Franklyn Park
Camp Jabulani
First Class Electrical
Upside Down Restaurant (Baobab tree) Hoedspruit
Moria Foods
Kinyonga Reptile Park
Oasis Water Hoedspruit
Airforce Base 19 Squadron Hoedspruit
Airforce Base Hoedspruit Museum
Spiff Chicken Hoedspruit
Postnet Hoedspruit
MEGraphix Hoedspruit
Driehoek Slaghuis Hoedspruit
Roots Acornhoek
Spar Hoedspruit
Lebamba Hoedspruit
Swadini Forever Resorts

And thank you to a few individuals:
Melanie and Gielie Nienaber (GN Labour Total HR Solutions)
Ester and Daan Odenaal
HESC would like to thank each and every person that contributed towards making a difference in these children’s lives. It was an early Christmas gift for them, and we are certain it made their years a little brighter.
(Please note that we are unable to mention the name of the orphanage, nor the names of the children. We are only sharing images from their stay, that do not show the children’s faces.)
Yours in conservation and education,
Karen Swiegers
General Manager – HESC