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Dear WESSA Schools, Partners and Funders

In these unprecedented times when our country comes to a standstill, we’d like to share some of the activities the WESSA Schools did in March. In this edition, we also share some things for you and the kids to do at home. Remember to stay healthy, both mentally and physically and if you can, remain active at home. We will see you on the other side of #SouthAfricaLockdown.

Keep well,

Cindy and the team

Notice!! Due to schools closing on the 18th of March and we’re not sure when they will resume, we have decided to extend the national WESSA YRE Competition deadline to the 20th of May 2020 at 12h00. 
The National Wildlife Federation, Project WILD and Project WET have developed an online learning opportunity for educators. The course focuses on climate change education and enables educators to better their knowledge and confidence around climate change and biodiversity (wildlife) topics. Educators are welcomed to join the course for free and gain access to climate change lessons and resources that can be used to celebrate special environmental days. Topics within Earth systems science include weather and climate, phenology, extreme weather, biodiversity, soils, and oceans. 

 A course link will be emailed to registrants.
#YREStaysHome and stay active
In this unusual time all around the world when most of you are at home, you can still be a young reporter for the environment.

We will set weekly challenges for you to investigate different issues and prove that even inside our homes we can protect our planet and raise awareness! You can also use this to connect to the other young reporters all around the world and gain new skills. Use your social media platforms, and tag us, to share your articles, photos videos. 

Here are your challenges for Week 1, do one of them, or all of them.

Keep checking our Facebook page for more activities to do at home. 
The 13th of March has proven to be a very important day for the Amur Falcon in South Africa in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the 13th of March was marked as the start of a big rescue and rehabilitation operation of the Amur Falcon after a terrible hailstorm injured more than 1 000 of them in the Midlands area of Kwazulu Natal (KZN), South Africa. 
On the 13th of March 2020, the WESSA Eco-Schools programme launched a project to learn more about and initiate ways to protect these migratory birds, Amur Falcon, when they are in South Africa. This project is called the Global Citizenship for Sustainability’s Wild Flight and is in partnership with Eco-Schools in India (Centre for Environmental Education) and Mongolia (FEE Mongolia).    

Two of the WESSA Eco-Schools, Treverton Preparatory School and College and King’s School, in the KZN Midlands area were selected to take part in this project because they are located close to a few roosting sites of the Amur Falcon. Along with WESSA, these two schools have formed a task team on learning and sharing important facts and stories about the Amur Falcon

At the launch of the project in South Africa, Cindy-Lee Cloete (WESSA Eco-Schools) facilitated a process of organizing creative ideas for action conservation projects on the Amur Falcon in South Africa, and specifically the Midlands area in KZN. Kristi Garland from BirdLife South Africa gave the task team a good overview of the Amur Falcon in South Africa and also made a generous donation of 7 binoculars and 7 bird identification guides to the project. 

As the South African Amur Falcon team, we are very excited to work with the Indian and Mongolian task teams to learn more about how schools from different countries can work together to advance sustainability.
Eco-bricks keep plastic out of the biosphere. Plastic pollution is suffocating our planet and we are learning the hard way that being a throwaway society doesn’t do the environment any favors. By making your own Eco-bricks, you can take responsibility for the plastic that you use almost every day. Our Eco-school in the Western Cape, Glenwood House School, have developed an “imperfectly perfect“ response to reduce plastic pollution. Glenwood House has been a WESSA Eco-School for 16 years.
Little Glen Eco-warriors have been collecting plastics from their homes and at school to make eco-bricks. Their Eco-bricks were handed over to the George Family Welfare in Cape Town, which will help to build new homes for the less fortunate. Glenwood House School is excited to continue supporting George Family Welfare and building a brighter future for all community members.
The first of the 20 plenty award ceremonies kicked off in Johannesburg on Friday 6th March at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. Schools were recognized for their inspiring and innovative environmental action projects that are changing the way we teach curriculum in the classroom.

Three schools shared their best practice stories including Ms Magaya of Jiyana Secondary, Ms Gwele of Welomlambo Primary and Ms Green of Claro Education and Learning Centre. The keynote speaker Ms Veronica Hofmeester, director at DBE praised the teachers and WESSA for teaching skills for the 21st century skills. She also called for strengthend relationships between WESSA and Department of Basic Education as the schools programme contributes to the mandate of the department.

Forty-two schools received awards for Eco-Schools, Young Reporter for the Environment and Learning About Forest Programmes. Donavan Fullard thanked all teachers for their fantastic dedication to the work of WESSA Schools Programmes, as well as partners and funders for supporting and enabling the work.
Ms Gwele from Welomlambo Primary,Ms Gwele is new to the programme and wants to twin with Jiyana Highschool to learn.
Ms Green from Claro shared their river cleanup project.
Keynote speaker Ms Veronica Hofmeester praised teachers for the forward-thinking work.
Ms Magaya from Jiyana Secondary School sharing their action projects and lessons learnt while implementing Eco-schools and YRE programmes.
Gauteng Eco-educators and learners.
The KZN Eco Schools award ceremony was held on Saturday the 14th of March 2020 at the Ascot Wedding and Conference Venue. Fifty-five Eco-Schools were awarded for their environmental action for the 2019 year.

Dr Jim Taylor gave an inspiring keynote speech highlighting the Eco-Schools programme’s journey since its launch in 2003 in South Africa. Learners from Shea O’ Connor Combined School shared their stories of change and how being part of the programme has made them to aspire to being future Eco warriors. Our oldest Eco-Schools in South Africa, Kings’s School, Epworth School and Scottsville Primary School earned their Platinum Two Decade awards for 17 years of environmental action. The KZN Eco-Schools are currently involved in water conservation projects, recycling, ecosystems rehabilitation and over 150 trees were planted in 2019.
Eco Educators from Hillgrove Primary School.
Lydia Hutchinson from Wembley College won best hat.
Shea O'Connor Combined family receiving their Gold Decade Award.
Fiona Mann receiving an International Flag Decade Award on behalf of Danville Park GIrl's High School.
Nyukani Education Center in Limpopo started propagating Spekboom to plant into their garden. They are currently using the pot plants to monitor plant growth as part of their grade 4 Natural science curriculum lesson.
Nyukani Education Center leaners propagating their spekboom.
Baropodi Primary School in Limpopo received a certificate of recognition from the Sekhukhune District Municipality for their recycling efforts at the school. Each of the teachers that are responsible for the Eco-Schools programme were given a certificate by the district. The school has been actively participating in the Eco-Schools programme and will be receiving their Platinum 2 award in 2020.
Baropodi Primary School educators receiving their certificate of recognition for their recycling work.
Growing your own food garden is a simple solution to numerous environmental and health problems. Whether you are growing a single tomato plant or have a large backyard garden, it is beneficial to your health, as well as the environment. Cedar Secondary in Zamdela, Free State, had fun implementing their Health and Wellbeing theme action project - a food garden. 
Cedar Secondary learners working on their food garden.
Seven Eco-Schools in the Ndumo KZN area joined the Spekboom Challenge. A total number of 300 Spekboom plants were planted.

Please note this important message from the Ndumo Eco-Schools: Spekboom should never be planted in natural veld without consulting a rehabilitation or restoration specialist.

#SpekboomChallenge #WESSAEcoSchools #NdumoCommunityProject
Spekboom planting in 7 Ndumo Eco-Schools.
At Kabega Primary School in Eastern Cape every day is a green day.  The Kabega Primary School recycling programme grows each year. Learners recycle bottles, bottle top, bread tags, paper and milk cartoons.
Learners at Kabega Primary School dropping off their waste for recycling.
Retlagona Primary School in North West started their sustainable vegetable garden which will supplement their Nutrition programme. Learners enjoyed getting their hands dirty and pledged to nurture and look after their crops.
Learners at Retlagona Primary School receiving their seedlings and planting.
Cindy-Lee Cloete
Programmes Manager
064 752 0598
Nomfundo Ndlovu
Project Manager
072 741 8223
Lameez Eksteen
Project Manager
072 639 7150
Reatlegile Thabathi
Project Manager
011 462 5663
Zwakele Ngwenya
Project Coordinator
063 693 8656
Kgomotso Kotlai
Database Manager
011 462 5663
Zandile Ngobeni
Project Coordinator
079 504 4296
Click on the links below to visit our pages
WESSA International Schools Programme
Young Reporters for the Environment
WESSA Schools programme
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