A solar-powered 'Meerkat' is protecting South Africa's rhinos
17 February 2020
The Kasaya School in the Simalaha Community Conservancy is a modest building. Yet inside great positive transformation is happening – and it’s impacting the whole community.
Vibrant young teachers Chabota Ngandu and Bargrey Mukombo are brimming with enthusiasm when I meet them at the school. They teach grade 7 and grade 1 respectively in the school of 205 pupils. There are two daily sessions: grades 3 to 7 in the mornings, and grades 1 and 2 in the afternoons. But since Peace Parks Foundation installed six solar panels and six storage batteries at the school, along with a water pump, there is now night school, a basic boarding house has opened for pupils and there are thriving food gardens too.
Chabota says: ‘Peace Parks Foundation has helped us beyond measure. We have lights in the classroom in the rainy season when it’s dark. Teachers can come to school at night to prepare their lessons as there are lights, and we can charge laptops so we can now also teach computer studies. Everything is going so much better.’
Grade 1 teacher Bargrey beams when he explains that they are also in the process of setting up a night school for parents. ‘We will teach different categories of literacy at night from 6 pm to 8 pm on three nights a week,’ he says. ‘Thirty two people have already enrolled, and most are already literate but want to continue their education. We can’t wait to start. This is going to uplift the community more than we can imagine.’ Chabota and Bargrey are so inspired they are willing to teach night school for free, and so show gratitude for the help they have received.
Story and photos by Keri Harvey