School holidays are a great time to catch up with friends. This July holiday, the Giraffe House decided to introduce a few of their ‘friends’ to the learners of Driftsand in Delft who attended the School Holiday Program in the area. A group of 280 learners and teachers bravely interacted with snakes and spiders on Wednesday 27 June, when Pieter Oosthuizen and his arachnid and reptilian-friends from the Giraffe House visited them.
Giraffe House visits schools across the Peninsula to teach learners about the wonders of South Africa’s wildlife and to give them an opportunity to interact with these amazing creatures. Werner Fourie, Director of Giraffe House, is passionate about conservation and about educating the youth on the importance of our wildlife. “The youth are our future environmentalists and conservationists; it is important to teach the youngsters about the importance of not killing snakes and spiders. If all our snakes were to be wiped out, we would all have to start getting used to a diet of rats and mice! Snakes are very important to keep a balance in nature and to keep rodents at bay,” Fourie adds. “We teach the youth not to kill snakes, throw stones at them or to pick them up – let the snakes live in harmony with nature. We also debunk the myth that frogs cause warts and teach the learners about the importance of cockroaches – nature’s very own vacuum cleaners,” Fourie says. The talks are entertaining and fun, which Fourie believes is essential for the learners to retain information. Spiders and reptiles form an important element when learning about South Africa’s wildlife.
Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), the local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products in the Western and Northern Cape, and the Giraffe House have formed a collaboration to take the Giraffe House’s mobile unit to less fortunate schools across Cape Town. Denise Green, Corporate Social Investment Manager at PenBev, says, “For many learners, this is the first time that they get to learn about and interact with South Africa’s wildlife. The education of the youth, especially environmental education, is very important to us.”
Photographer: Tiaan van Deventer