One of the most exciting developments in this very busy year has been our growing relationship with Parakarungu Primary School.
Throughout the year we have met on several occasions and have started supporting the school in areas of greatest need. With an enrollment of 280 students, it is the most remote school from the nearest developed town of Kasane yet it is the closest school to Linyanti Bush Camp, 80km away on 4×4 dirt road. It is the school which receives the least support in the Chobe Enclave and through our needs assessment in the area became our target school to support in the Chobe Enclave.
One month ago they were involved in our first community event in the Chobe Enclave which combined both the adult soccer and netball teams as well as the primary school teams from all 5 villages in the Independence Sports Tournament which we celebrated on Botswana Independence on the 30th of September. Already then, the strength of our relationship came through as Parakarungu led the organisation of the tournament with the teachers of the school playing co-ordinating all five schools of the Chobe Enclave to have a combined event for the first time.
The theme of this year’s prize giving day was ‘Natural Resource Conservation: A strategy towards the achievement of sustainable development. “An educated and informed Nation by 2016”’ which seemed very in-fitting with our developing relationship with the school.
The day began with a clean up campaign through the village and was followed by tree planing in the school grounds. Students from the Environmental Club officiated the tree planting with an educational speech on the importance of tree’s and tree planting methods.
In her opening speech, welcoming all of the guests to the Prize Giving Day, The Head Teacher, Mrs Mogaetcho named the day a ‘Wedding Ceremony’ between African Bush Camps and Parakarungu Primary School which was quite an honor!
The Chobe Regional Education office also attended and gave a speech as did the Regional Wildlife Officer Mr Labotse. As part of the entertainment of the day, the debating club held a live debate in front of the audience. The theme of the debate was: ‘Did the Government make the right decision to say no to hunting in Botswana, quite a huge topic to choose for a Primary School! The children debated with such confidence and conviction, it was moving and inspirational. The winning argument was ‘No more hunting’ and the question was put out to the audience to vote their opinion, and the response was unanimous, no more hunting – the debate was closed with the voice of the Chief’s Wife’s final vote saying ‘No more hunting’, quite a powerful moment, led by the future generations of the country.
The Drama Club also did a play on the effects of poaching – overall the children were incredibly impressive, their knowledge and confidence a true testimony to a wonderful school and dedicated teaching staff. The audience was also very receptive and became very vocal during the debate and the drama performance.
It was a privilege to be part of the Parakarungu Prize Giving Day, to sponsor this event with a school and community who’s visions and goals are aligned with ours and we are very excited to further build our relationships with this future generation of students and conservationists.
A Special thank you goes to all of the teachers at Parakarungu Primary School, for your hard work this year, for the wonderful ladies in the kitchen who cook every day for the children but cooked for the whole community on the day and all of the staff and community members who have embraced us into their community, thank you to Ron’s fresh from Kasane who generously sponsored fresh food towards the event, and a huge thank you also goes to Wina Tabona, our camp manager at Linyanti Bush Camp, Linyanti Ebony and Saile Tented Camp who once again, on top of his full work schedule managed to organise and successfully pull of another fantastic event, we thank you for your passion for the community and the future generation of the Chobe Enclave.
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