Help needed for 2017 Happy Earth Festival

2016-11-09 06:00
PHOTO: saysha baker  The Happy Earth Festival is informative and educational.

PHOTO: saysha baker The Happy Earth Festival is informative and educational.

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THE two-day environmental education festival, Happy Earth, to be held on 20 and 21 April, 2017 in the KZN Botanical Garden is free for schools, however, transport remains a big challenge for many.

Rotary and the Botanical Society are faithful sponsors of the festival, however, to strengthen the outreach of the festival, more sponsorship is needed. The aim is to supply refreshments for all pupils attending.

“With no major sponsorship at the moment, the organisers rely on local supermarkets and brands to help provide for the over 1 400 pupils attending the festival. Sunshine Bread is a major supporter as well as Parklane, Mayors Walk Spar and Fairfield Dairy.

“To ensure that all 1 400 pupils can be fed, I appeal to the public and other supermarkets to step up to the challenge and to support the festival. Any donations and help are appreciated,” said Pandora Long, Happy Earth Festival founder.

To increase the impact at the festival Long said they want to hand out learning resources to attending teachers from over 50 schools. Last year’s learning resource was a booklet sponsored by the KZN Museum, which provided the teachers with contact information for all participating organisations and information about environmental learning on offer.

For the fifth year celebration, the organisers would like to grow this pack and include more teaching resources.

“It would be wonderful to be able to consolidate many of the experiential activities offered at the festival over the past five years into lesson and activity plans that can encourage and guide teachers starting to teach environmental education and manage projects at their schools for the first time.

“The learning resource is also an excellent opportunity for supporter branding, as the bags or files can have logos on them and they can convey the two key messages for the development of environmental stewardship and leadership,” said Long.

Each year Working on Fire sends a team of over 30 young people who set up and run the festival, however, there is always a need for help from the public.

“Some schools arrive early and we are looking for volunteers with a passion for nature, children and education to share their special vocation with the children, for instance taking them bird watching, an interpretive trail in the Botanical Gardens, telling them a story or with the help of the organisers, play some simple environmental education games.

“Help is always needed with catering with over 1 400 sandwiches needing to be made,” said Long.

The Happy Earth Forum sponsorship request is for corporate business and the public to fund the initiative at R100 per pupil.

To sponsor, or for more information, email happyearthfestival@gmail.com or contact the co-ordinator, Dr Friederike Voigt on 082 779 6766 or find the Happy Earth Festival on Facebook. - Supplied

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