Circuit managers from 12 school circuits bordering Kruger accepted 400 boxes of books donated by the Kruger National Park (KNP) and its partners. This is a joint project between the KNP, the South Africa Booksmart Foundation and Engen, and will see the books going to the 150 neighbouring schools.
Schools due to receive books have been identified as those previously disadvantaged schools located within a 20-kilometre radius from the KNP which are battling financially.
"We certainly feel that the communities surrounding Kruger have an important role to play, not only in conservation but making the area a success in all fields and naturally, education plays an important role in this," said the Executive Director of the KNP, Dr Bandile Mkhize A steering committee was established to look at each school's specific needs.
After these needs were organised, a representative from each circuit visited South Africa Booksmart Foundation in Durban to identify specific books needed. Engen then sponsored the transport of the books from Durban to Skukuza.
"For us here in the Kruger National Park, this handover means that we are contributing to human development, which is an important part of our community involvement," said Helen Mmethi, the KNP's HOD for People and Conservation. Education department officials from the 12 circuits have accepted responsibility for distributing the books to the various schools.