The five schools in Namakgale and Lulekani outside Phalaborwa that are involved in the international Eco-Schools programme are on their way this year to earning the coveted green flag that symbolises their commitment to the environment with a helping hand from the Palabora Foundation.
The Palaborwa Foundation has this year pledged in excess of R67,000 to help the schools meet the challenge of creating a generation dedicated to the environment and sustainable living guidelines.
Their funding is in line with the foundation's goal of supporting the holistic development of disadvantaged people and communities until the communities can support themselves.
The five Phalaborwa Eco-Schools form a 'bird node' in the World Wide Fund for Nature - South Africa (WWF-SA) and Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa) sponsored Eco-Schools program in South Africa. Other nodes in the country are biome themed, and include grassland, succulent karoo and fynbos nodes.
As the Phalaborwa Eco-Schools have a bird theme, Africa. On registration with the Eco-Schools program, the schools are provided with a toolkit which includes a booklet to help plan learning activities around designated environmental days such as World Wetlands Day, National Water Week, Arbor Day, Birding Big Day etc.
Internationally, there are over 10,000 Eco-Schools, and each year all the schools submit a portfolio that charts the schools' progress in environmental awareness and sustainable living.
Those schools meeting the standard are given a cherished green flag to fly for the following year, until they are re-assessed. This year the Limpopo Province sports 14 of these green flags, displaying a person supported by a book of knowledge, compared with only two flags the previous year. Most of the schools are located in the remote rural areas.
For more information on Eco-Schools in Limpopo contact Cathy Dzerefos on 083 746 2239.