Take A Look At The Wildlife Orphanage's 2016 Successes - And Their Plans For 2017!

Take A Look At The Wildlife Orphanage's 2016 Successes - And Their Plans For 2017!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 9th Jan 2017

Towards the end of 2016, The Great Projects team began to feel reflective. Across the course of the year, we’d helped a huge number of kind-hearted volunteers to fulfill their dreams of travelling, all while aiming to make the world a better place. We’d help our volunteers to discover the perfect project to attend, giving them all the encouragement they’d need to make a difference in their chosen country. And then we’d send them on their way with full hearts, a spirit of adventure and, of course, an open mind! Yet, this state of reflection got us thinking: just how much of a difference did our volunteers make in 2016?

We’re happy to report that, thanks to all the hard work done by our volunteers throughout 2016, a huge number of projects were able to report back to us with a list of overwhelming achievements. Today’s blog will lend focus to the Wildlife Orphanage in South Africa, and to the advancements that just would not have been possible without you, the volunteers.

How our volunteers helpedthe wildlife

To kick off the list of amazing things achieved by the Wildlife Orphanage in 2016, we’re thrilled to share with you a list of animals that were taken in, cared for and, in some cases, even released back to the wild. Three beautiful jackals were introduced to the orphanage: two males and one female, with one of the males eventually being released. The orphanage also opened its doors to a wild dog; two baby nyala; three dassies (more on them later!); four banded mongooses; and one brown snake eagle. Finally, the orphanage managed to rehabilitate the following critters: a caracal; a lesser bushbaby; and two tree squirrels – all of which have since been released back to the wild!

Now, to talk more about those dassies – the three juveniles were welcomed into the Wildlife Orphanage and, with many thanks to hard-working volunteers on the project site, the dassies have been given a brand-new home in the form of a freshly-built enclosure!

Finally, the orphanage is happy to announce the completion of their mongoose enclosure expansion – a sponsorship from Foundation Brigitte Bardot allowed this to become a possibility, so anybody looking to volunteer in 2017 can look forward to checking it out!

How our volunteers helpedthe community

There were some fantastic steps made towards progression in the local community; one of the most inspiring accomplishments being the introduction of a business workshop for the woman at the Oaks village. Though this workshop is still very new, it was created with the aim to teach women how to become entrepreneurs. Since opening the workshop, the local woman have been taught how to make beads out of recyclable materials (paper, plastic and newspaper); how to use these beads to make items such as handbags, mats and necklaces; and how to make the most of their crafts, for example, by selling them. To say that the workshop is still in its early days, the idea behind it is just fantastic and we can’t wait to hear further updates from Oaks Village!

Elsewhere, the project saw the largest number of international volunteers arriving at any one time – 28 volunteers visited the orphanage for one week, participating in education of the underprivileged children in the community. That this project is so far reaching is already impressive enough; but for such a large group of altruistic individuals to take part in the work towards bettering the lives of these children, is nothing short of impressive.

There are, of course, more things to be proud of. The list of achievements goes on, but here are just a few inspirational tidbits to think about:

  • Volunteers worked with a massive 295 Grade 8 children at the camp – that’s almost 300 children whose lives have been positively impacted by our volunteers!
  • A total of 67 trees were planted across 4 local high schools – giving new life to the area, and providing an element of sustainability to the community and its beautiful wildlife
  • A community dustbin was also built – as part of a scheme to encourage villagers to keep their village clean, the community are also now becoming educated on recycling, too. This alone is a great thing, but once paired with the women’s workshop initiative, the possibilities of recycling are endless!

How our volunteers helpedthe project site

Of course, there have been improvements made to the volunteer site itself. One of these big changes is the introduction of new solar panels, meaning that power is provided 24/7 in a sustainable manner. (It also means that volunteers will easily be able to charge their phones, laptops and tablets at any time!) There have also been ceiling fans installed to 3 of the 4 chalet, meaning a stay at the Wildlife Orphanage will be more comfortable than ever before.

Finally, there has been an increase of capacity for volunteers: across three new cabins, there are now an additional seven beds – and with more space for the volunteers, the more we'll be able to aid the wildlife and people involved with the project! With so much good news coming from the Wildlife Orphanage, one has to wonder what the aims are for the coming year. The kind folk at the project have been happy to share with us their list of hopes for 2017; you can check it out just below:

  • Complete new Jackal camp for remaining two Jackals and relocate them
  • Increase number of volunteers at the project
  • Finalise a teaching curriculum for the project’s two EcoClubs
  • Update all animal enclosures at the camp
  • Work with all children at 5 secondary schools in the area
  • Continue improving the teaching program for the students
  • Introduce a more sophisticated impact evaluation framework
  • Introduce new opportunities for three-month stays at the project
  • Research the possibility of adding a new structure to house reptiles, insects, and other types of animals, with the goal of increasing the diversity of animals at the orphanage

Like what you’ve seen? You too can become a part of the Wildlife Orphanage’s mission, and help them to achieve all of their goals for 2017! Head over to our project page to get involved!


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