August was women’s month in South Africa. In celebrating this month, we take time to showcase some exciting news from our various projects, which are largely women led and constituted, as we recognise their tenacity and hardwork shown in their day to day activities.
WATERBERG WAVE FM
For the month of August, ERP’s Letticia Mahlatji, a phenomenal woman and conservationist who runs Hlago ya Africa, a daily programme on Waterberg Wave FM, interviewed various women on her programme and held a workshop to address environment and conservation issues. She also organised a school environmental awareness programme at Kgabagare Primary, which focused on ensuring proactive youth engagement on climate change issues. At the end of the programme, it was resolved that youth would be instrumental in spearheading climate change mitigation programmes in Vaalwater, which meant that they should be supported and involved at every level, including in awareness programmes. All this was over and above Letticia’s daily radio programmes on ERP which covered various topics including human-wildlife conflict and celebrated World Elephant Day during the month of August.
#BIKES4ERP MADIKWE UPDATE
We are pleased to report that the bike’s mechanic, Eric, continues to monitor the bikes, ensuring their usage in accordance with the programme’s values. In addition, he continues to fix and attend to all bikes requiring attention so as to allow the students to continue using them efficiently. We are pleased to share this article, which was recently featured in a local online publication, pertaining to the recent delivery of 100 bicycles to Olefile Secondary School. You can access the article on this link
SEKELEKANI COOPERATIVE UPDATE
The Cooperative have now completed harvesting their chilli crop, which has brought them an additional 24 bags totalling just under 200kg. At present, the Cooperative is clearing out the field in preparation for planting a new chilli crop in time for the summer season. Their apiculture project is also progressing well. Though a few of the hives have seen bees absconding occupation, owing to the winter season which often sees bees moving in search of forage since most of the chillies have been harvested, we are pleased to report that 37 of the hives are fully occupied, which is a significant number. The group aims to harvest and sell their honey towards the end of this year.
NTSHABELENG WASTE COOPERATIVE
The Cooperative, which is women led and largely women constituted continued with their waste collection activities, throughout the month of August. In addition, they cleared land in preparation for the planned planting of various crops under the food for waste programme. This programme had been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, but is now underway, with the hope of the ladies harvesting some of their crops by December, in time for the Festive Season. Finally, we are glad to report that the Cooperative has started packing some of their compost from their organic waste initiative. The first bags will be sold off to EPI-USE Africa, who already procured the bulk of the compost from the Cooperative earlier in the year.
VAALWATER ICT CENTRE PROGRAMMES
Seventeen youth and adults graduated upon completion of the basic computer training at the ERP funded and supported ICT Centre at Vaalwater. This programme had been rolled out over the past three months, culminating in the graduation ceremony at the beginning of August. Basic IT training for both young and old ensures that no one is left behind during this digital age, allowing everyone to easily access and send outand access information digitally. We commend Zach Sekhu and his team for organising this training which has benefitted people of all ages in the Vaalwater community.
MADIKWE APICULTURE PROJECT
In keeping with women’s month, we are also pleased to provide an update on this project, which is spearheaded by Portia Morudi. Much ground has been covered over the past months, which has seen the group, which is largely women constituted, preparing to harvest their first honey in the next coming weeks. We commend the group, and Portia’s tenacity, in ensuring the success of this programme, which is aimed at preserving iconic trees within the Madikwe area, from being uprooted by elephants.
Furthermore, we are pleased to update that Portia is busy with her new product development strategy for a limited edition of our ERP honey in the hope that the new product hits the shelves towards the end of September.
MADIKWE CANINE PROGRAMME
We are pleased to report that the construction of the Melorane Dog Hotel has been completed, and the dogs have comfortably settled into their accommodation. As of the beginning of August, training started with the dogs’ playtime training. This marks the start of how the canines are familiarised with various commands. We anticipate commencing with their field work training in a few weeks’ time, and we will keep you posted on these developments in our next report.
NDUMO ORPHANS FEEDING SCHEME
The Ndumo Schools Orphan Project (NSOP) was established circa 2002, by a group of concerned school principals and teachers who were troubled by the significant level of absenteeism amongst their pupils. Upon investigation, they discovered that an alarming number of these children were orphans and/or vulnerable children who were being left to fend for themselves, either due to losing one or both parents as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, or being left in the care of an elderly relative by migrant worker parents. It became evident, on investigation that many didn’t attend school as they didn’t have requisite clothing. The NSOP initially focused on providing these children with food parcels supplied at the time by the Catholic Church.
For as little as the equivalence of $15 a month, you can support an orphaned or otherwise vulnerable child with a supply of ePap for an entire month. Join and support our cause by clicking on the link below: