We are Nathashia Khosa, Siphokazi Sibeko and Bongiwe Hlabane. We are interns in the Southern Africa Wildlife College, in the Community and Youth Development department. Our internship is for a year. We live in a village called Welverdiend in Mpumalanga Province which is next to the Greater Kruger National Park where the college is located. We are one of the communities that was displaced by the park when it was created.
This week the PACE coordinator visited. At the beginning of the week we showed her our own and other villages – the general environment, schools, clinics, the different neighbourhoods, businesses and the youth centre. Then for two days we have had a workshop with local school educators – the circuit manager, some head teachers, vice principles and different subject teachers.
Our experience with PACE has opened up our eyes. Yes, we live in a village surrounded by Kruger national park, but we did not have enough knowledge about the careers it actually provides. In terms of our school curriculum in South Africa the curriculum (caps) does not have enough environmental information. The PACE pack provides sufficient information which can be used in the schools, or even at house holds. The teachers this week were given a chance to read the pack, and they identified lots of topics that go with lots of subjects offered at school (primary and secondary). The educators were learning things they didn’t know, from the PACE pack, that they would use to teach in different subjects. They also found activities that relate to environmental problems we have in the village, about soil, water, health and energy are examples. Though it has just arrived but our responses were all massive. We are really looking forward to engage more with PACE, and we know that it will make a difference in our community and our lives.