WEAP is a programme facilitated by Welgevonden Game Reserve and supported by various entities, that aims to introduce and expose learners, and others in the local community, to the natural environment. The purpose of the programme is to create an awareness and appreciation of the environment and to highlight the value of environmentally important areas in a social and economic sense locally, nationally and internationally.
We achieve this by going into the communities and teaching learners (and other persons) about the environment. We emphasise the importance of the environment and of creating awareness of career opportunities in the wildlife, conservation, and hospitality industries through environmental education. By making learners and other community members aware of their environment and its challenges we provide them with the knowledge and understanding to mitigate them. We empower people to make informed decisions regarding the environment and its value.
The programme focuses primarily in the school environment to compliment current learning curricula, and within the local communities through after-school environmental clubs, sports and study groups. Environmental clubs have been established, both within the school and community environment, working with individuals who show interest beyond the classroom to further encourage and develop their passion for the natural environment.
To get a holistic view on how protecting the environment can support the conservation and wildlife tourism industries WEAP collaborates with an array of wildlife tourism, farming, educational, and hospitality community stakeholders for learners to get real-world experiences on how these businesses operate and contribute to society. WEAP organizes and facilitates expeditions to wildlife reserves, museums, and other tourism establishments in the area, to enhance the learning experience and showcase potential careers which depend on the safeguarding of the environment. These experiences, we refer to as the “Living Classroom”.
In addition to creating awareness around the environment, career opportunities and the relationship between conservation and job creation, the programme also endeavours to address issues beyond the classroom that affect the children’s daily lives, for example by combatting cultural stereotypes such as the animosity towards snakes and superstitions around owls. Children learn how to make birdfeeders using recycled materials to attract birdlife to their schools, how to identify different mammals from their spoor, view scorpions under UV light and learnt to identify insects, spiders and frogs and their importance within an ecosystem.
If you are interested in supporting WEAP, learning more about what we do or becoming a collaborator please contact the WEAP Coordinator, Moji Kitsi at email@example.com.
We are grateful to our collaborators:
Lindani Lodges, Swebeswebe Wildlife Estate, Kleinplasie, Geluksfontein Cheese Farm, Save the Waterberg Rhino, Adventures with Elephants, Mhondoro Safari Lodge, Fifty-Seven Waterberg, Welgevonden Biomonitoring Programme, Matabane Bush Home, Mokabi Lodges, Ants Nest/Hill, Waterberg Living Museum, Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative, Waterberg Tourism, Working On Fire, Waterberg Nature Conservancy.
Welgevonden Environmental Awareness Programme (WEAP) Coordinator