Keeping past students inspired, and therefore actively involved in improving their surroundings, has been key to the success of the Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre and the course it offers.
Students who attend the course already belong to an ecology club in each school that participates in the course.
The best ecology clubs – in terms of projects, involvement etc – are rewarded and the best individuals, within these clubs, are rewarded further. This creates healthy competition both between the different clubs and within the clubs where the ultimate benefactor is the environment.
So far, a total of 132 students and 22 teachers have taken part in the course. The Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre is still in contact with each and every one of these students and teachers. In fact, the 22 teachers recently took it upon themselves to organise a meeting where they discussed: who was doing what, what was working and why it was working.
At Singita Grumeti Reserves the Grumeti Fund has established an Environmental Centre. This centre runs an ecology course for the top six grade 11 geography and science students at a given school from the surrounding communities. The course runs for one week and two courses are offered a month, one for boys and one for girls. Each course caters for 12 students and two teachers.
During this week the students focus on the Serengeti ecosystem, the sustainable use of natural resources and other relevant environmental topics that are built into the Tanzania school syllabus.
Some of the topics covered during the course are revision of work already done while other topics are new. All the topics are combined and taught in a way that provides students with a big picture view of the Serengeti ecosystem.
Upon completion of the course all students, most of whom are already active members of their school’s ecology clubs, are assigned projects and the results of these projects are carefully monitored. The best projects and students are then rewarded with scholarships to study further.
Successful projects initiated by the Environmental Centre – but spearheaded by past pupils – include the planting of indigenous trees, the discovery of new water sources and the development of alternative energy sources.
Five critically endangered eastern black rhino, from South Africa, arrived in the Serengeti yesterday as part of the ‘most ambitious wildlife relocation in East Africa over the past 50 years’.
This project – spearheaded by the Singita Grumeti Fund in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society – aims to relocate a total of 32 eastern black rhino over a two year period.
To ensure the rhinos’ protection during the relocation process, and the project’s long-term sustainability, an elite Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit has been established. This unit is comprised of 23 carefully selected and trained rangers.
For more information and images please visit http://rhinos.singita.com.