The project holder
Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphenage was founded by Michele and her husband Ian fourteen years ago. It was on a trip to South Africa more than 20 years ago that Michelle met Ian on a private South African reservation. She will never leave the country again. Michele is a very open-minded woman, committed to the protection of our planet and especially passionate about animals and children.
The genesis of the project
After deciding to move to South Africa with her husband, the founder of the school spends her days caring for and taking care of the various animals in the reserve where Ian worked for three years.
Following a work accident of her husband, they are forced to leave the reserve and start a restaurant. Michele, always surrounded by children, often invites them to eat in her restaurant and teaches them respect, cleanliness but also teaches them to take care of their environment, including animals.
It was during this period that Michele developed her desire to help underprivileged children and abandoned animals. With the precious help of Ian, she decided to found Dakatari Bush School & Wildlife Orphenage.
Daktari is a non-profit association located in South Africa, not far from the famous Kruger Park. The idea of this project is to educate underprivileged South African children about the protection of their environment and social life, but also to teach them the values of respect and self-confidence, as well as the dangers of drugs and sex. The children also learn how to look after and care for the animals in the school.
Michele's goal is to make them aware of jobs related to animals and tourism so that they can later find employment in local lodges. Daktari is in partnership with many schools in the region and every Monday, eight new students are chosen to follow this training.
«You have to be passionate to do a job like mine. If you don't, then you won't be able to keep up...» Michele.
The children, aged from 12 to 17, are housed and fed on site all week long so that they have time to practice what they learn in class. They learn not to waste, to reduce their use of plastic and their consumption of water.
Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphenage is also an orphanage for animals. All kinds of animals are taken in by Michelle and her team every year. The children can then get to know certain species, feed them and become attached to them throughout the week.
To help the children grow socially and intellectually, Daktari offers a volunteer program. Volunteers from all over the world come to the site for a few weeks or months to help these young children grow up in society.
The feedback received from the various schools and the children's families shows the usefulness of the courses offered by Daktari. Every weekend, the children leave the school with tears in their eyes, but they come out of it with a sense of growth. They apply what they have learned about the environment and animals in their daily lives.
When they find an abandoned animal on the side of the road, their first reaction is to call Michele so she can come and pick it up. These children then often become aware that there are many opportunities in the tourism sector in South Africa. They need to protect wildlife and not kill it because it is their heritage and their future.
For more information, please do not hesitate to consult the Daktari Bush School & Wildlfe Orphenage's website!