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Addo: ‘Kindness is a universal language’

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Team OLLI and their rhino together with Addo Elephant National Park rangers surprised Vusumzi Primary School learners and spent time with them, colouring in conservation-themed pictures and they donated much needed school shoes.
Team OLLI and their rhino together with Addo Elephant National Park rangers surprised Vusumzi Primary School learners and spent time with them, colouring in conservation-themed pictures and they donated much needed school shoes.
Photos: One Land Love It

In collaboration with Addo Elephant National Park, the team from One Land Love It NPC (OLLI) along with Addo rangers regularly visits schools in conservation communities on the borders of the park to create a positive association with the park and the wildlife and environment it protects.

“Our intention is to facilitate meaningful connection with the park and conservation issues, to nurture a love and a desire to protect and enhance their environment,” says Nikki Bolton of One Land Love It NPC.

“Also, to instil a sense of responsible citizenship and pride, where the children view the park as an extension of their community, to be defended rather than a disconnected, meaningless tract of land ‘beyond’ the fence and their experience.”

The OLLI team together with Addo rangers believe the gift of a pair of school shoes is a gift of dignity and 62 learners from Vusumzi Primary School will start 2023 with brand new school shoes.

These communities live below the breadline and depend largely on seasonal work in the citrus industry.

It is hard to preach conservation when priorities are a meal on the table and a roof over your head.

“Kindness is a universal language and by recognising and helping in areas of need, we demonstrate this behaviour through example, which makes it easier to share the message of the importance of kindness to the environment and wildlife,” says Laura Bolton, also from OLLI.

A pair of shoes can go a long way’ may seem like a trite comment, but in some communities that is literally a child’s reality.

A pair of school shoes may be the only shoes a child owns.

The OLLI team together with Addo rangers believes the gift of a pair of school shoes is a gift of dignity and 62 learners from Vusumzi Primary School will start 2023 with confidence and a positive association with their neighbour, Addo Elephant National Park, after receiving brand new school shoes.

“We are so grateful. These learners are in dire need of shoes because some of their parents are seasonal workers whose employment ended in September, and they do not have finances to support them,” said Nobathembu Lolwana, Deputy Principal at Vusumzi Primary School.

According to Zimkhitha Zungula, Socio-Economic Transformation Officer at Addo Elephant National Park, “Increased community engagement and awareness will provide the much-needed participation and involvement in combatting wildlife crimes.”

*Through Spar’s Bata School Shoe initiative, you can purchase a pair of school shoes (sizes 11 to 2) for R60 and direct them through One Land Love It or donate via the website and shoes will be purchased including larger sizes to ensure that all those in need are equipped for the new year.

– ISSUED: ONE LAND LOVE IT
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