07d projects update


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Africa » Namibia » Windhoek » Aris
March 19th 2007
Published: March 19th 2007
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Hello again.

We wanted to give an overview of the projects we will be working on over the course of this expedition, as well as longer term projects which will see us through until the end of the year.

Our projects are community, environment and adventure focused. Included below are details of the communities we will be supporting with our local project partners and Government departments.

Schools

Since 1997 we have successfully constructed over 23 schools in five regions of Namibia. The existing educational infrastructure in isolated areas varies hugely; some schools have no permanent classrooms. Local community initiatives have constructed temporary structures from local materials, often with only sticks and tin sheets, and some areas are forced to hold lessons under trees.

Onameya Junior Primary School

Located in the Oshikoto region about 60k south of Ondangwa (eight hours drive from Windhoek), the construction site is seven kilometres from the main road down a sandy track. Only a 4x4 truck and feet can reach this site and the local conditions provide an extra challenge to our teams as they work feverishly to complete the building on time.

Each expedition sees three groups of volunteers pouring loads of sweat, heart and soul into a permanent building with two classrooms and a storeroom. During the project there will be time for the teams to teach and play games with the learners, observe the local way of life and become a part of the community for nine weeks.

To watch a bare patch of earth transformed into an incredible permanent structure is an amazing experience for both the local community and the Raleigh team.

Playgrounds

Traditionally, sports and recreational facilities in isolated communities are relatively poor so many young people have no constructive outlet for their excess energy. At most, schools and communities have a football pitch for children to play on. Our playgrounds are bright and cheerful and aid spatial awareness, hand-eye co-ordination and muscular development. It is an amazing experience to watch the children use the equipment for the first time with huge enthusiasm and delight!

We have no set plans for our playgrounds. Instead we like to involve the local community and create a design which meets their requirements. In collaboration with the project partner and community we build a unique construction which specifically meets the children’s needs.

Past facilities include climbing frames, swings, slides, monkey bars, stepping stones, netball courts and mini football pitches. Our only limitations are space, safety and, of course, imagination.

Okamatapiti

Located five hours north east of Windhoek in a remote community, Okamatapati has over 400 learners, many of whom are in hostel accommodation on site. At present they just have a football pitch and running track and are hugely excited at the prospect of a new playground. We have a unique opportunity to see how this community works - the school representatives are very keen to show us the local way of life and involve the team as much as possible. There will also be daily opportunities to interact with the learners through teaching and games.

The team arrives on site on 1 April and will have 19 days to complete the project.

Otavi

Otavi is a small town four hours north of Windhoek and is home to many needy young people. The playground will benefit around 250 orphans and vulnerable children who’ve been affected by HIV/Aids and general poverty.

We will work with the project director for the Hope for the Hopeless project and a Peace Corps volunteer who has been involved in Otavi for the last 14 months - both are extremely committed to the success of the project.

As well as building the playground, there will be opportunities for the team to get involved in the garden project, the Hope Pre School, Woman’s Tapita Sewing Project and a soup kitchen.

The community eagerly awaits our arrival on 23.April.

Onakasino Junior Primary School

The village of Onakasino is located in the Oshikoto region about 80k south of Ondangwa (eight hours drive from Windhoek) directly north of the Etosha pan. Raleigh built a school here in 2006 in partnership with The Ministry of Education. There are 80 children at the school and all have little in the way of constructive outlet for their excess energy. The community is incredibly supportive of Raleigh and our teams and is looking forward to welcoming the group on the 14 May. Additional activities for our team will include teaching and developing basic sanitation facilities for the school.

Our playground projects are funded by various donors including the schools and communities themselves, Rotary (Howe), DFID Small Grants Scheme and the Fowler, Smith and Jones Charitable Trust.

Environmental projects

Cape Cross Seal Colony

Home to over 200,000 Cape Fur Seals, Cape Cross is reportedly home to the largest colony in the world. The sea and coastline are teeming with seals of all ages, from newborn pups to mature adults. Cape Cross is an incredible place and we have a unique opportunity to work close to the seals to improve their environment.

There is currently a wall at Cape Cross that was originally built to separate and protect tourists from the seals and vice versa. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism now wants to remove a part of this wall and build a raised walkway, allowing the seals free access to more of the coastline. It will also create a non-intrusive viewing platform for visitors. Raleigh’s challenge is to demolish and remove the wall. The teams will also develop a new campsite in a beautiful area close to the colony and continue with a coastal clean-up of non-biodegradable waste - a project we started in 2006.

Harnas

The Harnas Wildlife Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to saving Namibia's endangered wild animals. The farm is owned by the Van der Merwe family who have dedicated the last 20 years to protecting injured, orphaned and
at-risk animals.

The current site is based around five hours east of Windhoek. The family are developing an additional site closer to Windhoek. This will be easier for visitors to access and help raise awareness and funds for the continued care of the animals.

There are five lions and two leopards at the new site now. The lions originally came to Harnas when their mother was shot and killed outside the Etosha National Park about four years ago. The two male leopards are eight years old and their mother came to Harnas pregnant. She died of anthrax shortly after giving birth. These cats are the first to arrive on the new site, which will be opened to the public in July 2007.

This is the first time Raleigh and Harnas will work together and it is hoped that the success of this trial project will lead to a long-term relationship. There is a lot of infrastructure development that our team will assist with. Tasks will include fencing, securing watering holes, construction of viewing hides and semi-permanent accommodation for key workers from the San community.

During the project the team will observe wildlife in a natural environment and learn more about conservation in Namibia and the challenges facing the animals.

Visit the Harnass website at Harnass

Rare & Endangered Species Trust

REST (Rare and Endangered Species Trust) was founded in September 2000. Its objective is to conduct research and provide logistical support for Namibia’s endangered species. The trust was established to protect the Cape Griffon Vulture which is endemic to Southern Africa but is Namibia’s most endangered species. Fewer than 20 wild birds remain in the country.
REST is relocating to a new farm just south of Otjiwarongo (three hours north of Windhoek). Raleigh has worked closely with REST for many years, helping develop their infrastructure and instrumental to the development of the new site. This expedition will see our teams complete a new aviary and develop a sensory trail. The trail is designed for those with sight impairment or restricted mobility and will enable them to learn about Namibia’s wildlife and environment.
After the completion of this project, it is hoped that REST can move to the new site within the year.

Visit the REST website at REST

Adventure projects

Trekking

Trekking 240k through the majestic, ephemeral river beds of the Goantagab and Ugab rivers, teams will encounter imposing canyons and impressive geology before skirting the vast Messum crater and crossing extensive desert plains on their journey to the Atlantic Ocean. Walking through untouched wilderness and camping under fantastic African skies is an experience to remember forever.

A test of team work and determination, the treks are a journey of discovery as the teams cross challenging terrain and a multitude of environments to reach their destination - the Skeleton Coast.

Each group is supported by a local guide who has intimate knowledge of the area and vast experience of the wildlife our teams will encounter. The guides are a great source of information and teams will learn many skills for living in this demanding environment.

Next time we'll be telling you about the participant arrivals.



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25th March 2007

Excellent site!
Hi all, My Fiancee is joining this trip next week and I was really chuffed to see this site with so much information on it. It'll really help me and all her friends and family to find out (and see!) what is going on. Please update us as often as possible! Cheers, Andy

Tot: 2.695s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 8; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0401s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb