On the 5th of June, the African Bush Camps Foundation celebrated World Environment Day with the 5 primary schools that make up the Dete cluster which we have supported since 2006, these being in closest proximity to the boundary of Hwange National Park.
The students, staff and headmasters of Main Camp Primary, Sir Roy Welensky Primary, St. Francis Primary, Chezhou Primary and Mambanje Primary schools gathered at the Dete Business Centre where they were welcomed by local business owners. Following the welcome by local business woman Dorcas Mbedzi and the National Anthem, Dominic Nyathi of Painted Dog Conservation spoke about the significance of the day, highlighting the theme of this year’s event; Raise your voice, not the Sea level, a very interesting idea to conceptualize for children in this very remote and arid part of Zimbabwe – a landlocked country. Mr Nyathi highlighted that WED is the opportunity for everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change.
Ingonyama, the local Dete dance group who are renown countrywide for their ability to enthrall and entertain with moving songs, dance and uncanny animal impersonations were present throughout the day. As well as providing ongoing entertainment, they also took the responsibility of looking over the students throughout their various activities, ensuring order and safety for all.
The occasion was marked by several indigenous tree’s being planted around the Dete shops by the guests of honor before the school children and guests began the clean up campaign through the Dete Business area, around the Dete Old Age Home and through the village of Dete, finishing at St Francis Primary School which hosted the competitions.
Each of the five schools completed in four categories, addressing the theme of World Environment Day in the following categories: Poster, Drama skit, Poem and Song. All of the schools showed not only great skill in their presentations but also much thought and information was portrayed and as in the past years, the drama skits had the audience on the edge of their seats. The top three presentations in each category received prices of stationary and environmental science text books.
Mr Tembo, the headmaster of the hosting school St Francis Primary School closed the day’s event with this very appropriate quote: “Planet Earth is our shared island, let us join forces to protect it.” by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the launch of the 2014 International Year of Small Islands and Developing States.
A special thank you to the Dete Business Community, Ingonyama Dance Group, Dominic Nyathi and Painted Dog Conservation, Derick Phiri from Mambanje Primary School, the master of ceremony, all schools who attended and St Francis Primary School for hosting the event.