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Volunteers from Rhino Africa looked grimly at the sky last Friday afternoon, wondering if the heavens would open and spoil all the fun they had in store for the kids from Khumbulani. The Rhino crash was en route to Khayelitsha to pick up 120 learners between the ages of 3 and 5 and take them on an adventure to Monkey Town for the day.
This educational outing aimed to not only provide fun and laughter for the kids but also to foster a love for nature and a better understanding of the importance of preserving our globe’s wildlife.
Luckily, the rain didn’t dull any of the smiles on the road that day. The children eagerly chanted “Faster, Mr Bus Driver, we are not scared!” on the bus, and marvelled at the feat that they each had their own seat and seatbelt. The air, thick with excitement, could not be dampened by the grey clouds hanging overhead.
This exuberant group of learners had their voices echo across the park, much to the delight of Tammy the Ape who responded with enthusiastic applause. Shrieks of nervous laughter rang out while kids clamoured forward to catch a glimpse of a snake – which some of the brave even dared to touch.
And then, to the delight of all, lunchtime brought the sunshine – perfect timing for the remainder of the afternoon which was to be spent revelling in Monkey Town’s massive playground.
Monkey Town aims to have its guests leave with a greater understanding of primates and the unrelenting threats they are facing in the wild today – an important lesson for all who visit this wildlife park. But for the kids from Khumbulani, even more so, as it was their first time seeing monkeys and apes of any kind. They stared in wonder at mothers carrying their babies and the family units not so different from our own.
The children from Khumbulani all come from HIV Aids-infected and -affected backgrounds and the daycare started back in 2000 in the 2-bedroom home of one Gloria Bebeza. Mama Gloria saw a grave need in her surrounding community for children from these backgrounds to have care, attention, and supervision during the day.
Rhino Africa is immensely proud to have had a hand in transforming this one-woman initiative into a full-fledged daycare which runs out of its own 3-story premises in Khayelitsha, caring for approximately 300 learners every day. In collaboration with Nhlayisa, we also sponsor a specially-formulated porridge for the children during their days at Khumbulani in an effort to ensure their little bodies get all the nutrients they desperately need.
This isn’t enough for us, though, and neither is it for the kids. With the introduction of our CSR programme and our CSR specialist, Teresa van der Bank, we want to expose the children of Khumbulani to even more educational outings and experiences that are seemingly incomprehensible because of their poverty-stricken backgrounds. But, we can’t do it all on our own and this is where you come in!
By travelling with us at Rhino Africa, you are contributing to our various outreach initiatives – one of them being Khumbulani Day Care Centre – but you could do more. A donation of just $500 would sponsor an outing and have another Khumbulani dream come true! To see what else we’ve done with the Khumbulani kids, check out our trip to the Two Oceans Aquarium and our day spent colouring outside the lines and making the day-care a little brighter!
Are you interested in partnering with us and sponsoring our kids at Khumbulani? It’s as easy as dropping a line to our CSR Specialist, Teresa:
Special thanks must go to the following:
Cullinan Transport for getting our kids and Rhinos safely to Monkey Town and back
Monkey Town for showing the learners such an amazing day
MannaBay for supplying everyone with a tasty and nutritious lunch
Our IGLTA guests for their generous contribution
Our Rhino Africans who gave up their time to ensure the Khumbulani kids had a great day!
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Jozi-born, Knysna local, and recovering yachtie, Melanie decided that she missed being land-based after 18 months sailing the seas. Now that she lives in the most beautiful city in Africa (she is adamant about this fact), you will find her trying out new things around Cape Town, dreaming about her next holiday, and using Wikipedia to enhance her skills as an encyclopaedia of useless information.
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