FREEME FREEYOU Outreach and Education
Outreach and education forms an integral part of the work that FREEME KZN does. Without installing a sense of understanding and compassion for wildlife and wild habitats in people of all ages, there is a limit to the growth of ‘ecological intelligence’ in all sectors of society.
Our own species is growing more disconnected from the natural world around us; in cities where the absence of wildlife leads to an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, and in impoverished communities where daily survival is an overriding concern. FREEME KZN operates within the ‘One Health’ approach. Environmental, Human and Animal health are all inextricably linked.
FREEME KZN’s FREEME FREEYOU outreach programs aim to try and connect people of all ages with the vestiges of wild habitat, ecosystems and wildlife that remain on their doorsteps, to install a sense of unity and understanding that all of the earth is striving for survival together, and that by helping to keep wild places and animals alive, we are keeping ourselves alive.
12 Month Biodiverstiy Program
We are currently running this program at the Siyabonga Helping Hands for Africa Care Centres in Edendale and Mbali, Pietermaritzburg.
The program is designed to empower environmental educators at the care centres to teach monthly modules to the learners in their environmental clubs. Each month a different topic is covered, with theoretical and practical components. The idea is to teach children to understand the link between environmental health, animal health and human health.
So far the environmental educators and their students have restored a local stream and wetland, established a ‘peace park’ by clearing litter and planting indigenous trees, and started a litter free area around their school. They have also been exposed to a variety of different topics by going out on field trips or having specialist speakers come to the care centres to address the educators and students on a wide range of subjects from pet health related issues such as rabies to the value of snakes and owls as pest control agents.
Each year a new set of subjects is covered, so that the 12 Month Biodiversity Program is followed through from grade 8 to grade 12, with the aim of presenting the outstanding students with the opportunity to be granted an internship or bursary on completion of all 5 years of the program.
Every school holiday FREEME KZN holds a Kid’s Club in the Education Centre. This is open to kids between the ages of 6 and 12 and is designed to be interactive as well as educational. It also introduces kids to some of the work that FREEME KZN is involved in.
One of the benefits of joining up to the FREEME KZN Custodianship Program, is the Custodian Insights. These are afternoons set aside for ad hoc work that FREEME KZN is involved in, from Post Mortems to DNA collection to research projects. Custodians are invited to attend these afternoons free of charge, and where possible, are able to assist with the activity.
This gives Custodians the benefit of understanding the research component of FREEME KZN; understanding the biology and physiology of the wildlife FREEME KZN deals with is instrumental in governing better management practices when dealing with compromised wildlife.
FREEME Wildlife Talks
FREEME KZN presents a wide variety talks for conservancies, clubs, and environmental groups.
These talks are based on the work FREEME KZN does, and vary from being a general outline of the running of the centre, to more specific stories of rescue and rehabilitation, to addressing current threats certain species face.
The aim is to educate and uplift members of the public, and to illustrate the important interface FREEME KZN represents in mitigating the results of human-wildlife conflict.
FREEME Wildlife Courses
The FREEME Wildlife Courses are designed to empower people with an interest in various wildlife related fields.
From more generic courses on bird identification and snake handling to more specific courses on wildlife rescuing and rehabilitation, FREEME KZN is constantly expanding its reach, and makes use of specialists to provide invaluable information and training in their specific fields.
For more information on FREEME Wildlife Talks and Courses email: