Ndumo Community Project receives a huge cash injection

The Advancement and Partnerships Office has recently secured R500 500 from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

New Funding

  • The Advancement and Partnerships Office has recently secured R500 500 from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Project targeting 3000 school learners and approximately 30 teachers from grades 3, 7 and 8 from 20 surrounding schools,

The funding will be used in Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Ndumo Sustainability Initiative and will enable the project to transfer knowledge and skills to local communities targeting 3000 school learners and approximately 30 teachers from grades 3, 7 and 8 from 20 surrounding schools, and about 200 community adults surrounding Ndumo Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Ndumo Sustainability Initiative (also known as the Ndumo Community Project) started small in 1998 and over the years the project grew to become one of the University’s flagship projects. Ndumo is found on the boarder of Mozambique and Swaziland in Maphutoland in the northern part of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

There are three targeted communities involved in this project: the Mathenjwa community is the largest of the three and the other two communities are in the corridor area situated between Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park, namely Bhekabantu and Mbangweni.

Through the project, teachers are empowered to be hands-on and interlink environmental education into the existing school syllabus in order to enhance environmental literacy. Learners will participate in educational programmes and through this exposure they will learn to conserve nature and work towards change and practice sustainable living. The project is also educating adults in the surrounding community pertaining to their ecological footprint. Through this initiative we hope to address negative personal practices and behaviour.

According to Cheryl Ogilvie, Project Manager, the funding will also enhance sustainable livelihood through skills development, appropriate support and assistance with the provision of water to 8 schools to look after their food gardens. Currently, the whole of Kwa-Zulu Natal is suffering the worst drought ever recorded. Strategic planning needs to be put into place to assist with this environmental factor. 

“This project is based on a two-pronged inclusive approach, namely, sustainable livelihoods and an intensive educational programme. This community faces many challenges such as, communities washing their clothes in rivers and not using their rivers in a sustainable way and there is subsistence poaching to alleviate poverty. All these issues need to be addressed,” maintains Cheryl.

Cheryl says the funding will further assist TUT Nature Conservation students who will be exposed and take part in facets pertaining to careers in research, environmental education, knowledge transfer to communities, and reserve management for the duration of this project.

The Ndumo Community Project has over the years received growing community support from young people, ordinary community members and other stakeholders.

TUT and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to formalise a strategic relationship between the two organisations to collaborate in driving and implementing the Ndumo Community Project.

The collaboration with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife entails allocating human resources to supplement project activities and provide additional resources such as the full use of the Environmental Education Centre in Ndumo Game Reserve,” says Cheryl.

“We are delighted to be part of this initiative which has accomplished a great deal through the collaborative efforts of different partners since 1998 for the benefit of the communities in Ndumo. GEF SGP believes that investments in community environment education, awareness and capacity building are the best weapons in fighting against the global environmental challenges we are facing and Ndumo Sustainability Project provides tailored innovative and practical approaches to the challenges confronting the community,” says Anele Moyo, National Coordinator of the GEF SGP.  

 

Tebogo Tabane    

Tshwane University of Technology

All pictures in the slide show below are from TUT

Slide
A TUT student (Tumelo Sathega) educating school learners.
Slide
A TUT student (Tshifhiwa Ratshekani) educating learners at Nyamithi Pan inside Ndumo Game Reserve.
Slide
A TUT student (Reliance Nenzhelele) using a range finder to assist with game counting at Ndumo Game Reserve.
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A TUT student (Martina Mabuza) exposed to research.
Slide
Learners from Bhekabantu Primary School in Ndumo attending an environmental education session.

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