Top row L-R: Mrs B. Mbonambi (St Christophers teacher), Mr. D Murguges, (St Christophers teacher), Ms. F. Fsmthembu (St Christophers teacher), Prince Mathe (TechEd Facilitator), John Gatherer, Lisa Holloway (MRP Foundation School Co-ordinator), Mrs. Lorranie Kaunda (St Christophers Acting Principal)
Bottom row from L-R: Asanda Ndaba, Charmaine Mbothwe, Sazikonke Nsele, Neliswa Dube
Learners from St Christophers Primary School in Kwadukuza, KwaZulu-Natal were recently treated to a special visit from local author, John Gatherer, of the popular children’s wildlife book, ‘Young and Wild’, who visited the MRP Foundation school to share his passion for conservation.
The successful businessman, photographer, wildlife enthusiast and explorer was inspired to create ‘Young and Wild’ after he realised there were very few wildlife books for children to enjoy. The result was a fun and informative publication packed with vivid photos, children’s illustrations and interesting information. John graciously donated copies to each of the five MRP Foundation schools in KwaDukuza - Aldinville Senior Primary School, Kearsney Primary School, Nyakana Combined Primary School, Zilungisele Primary School, St Christophers Primary School - and his book has captivated the learners’ imaginations ever since.
Four budding students and various educators spent a morning with the author, eloquently reading out their favourite parts of the book and quizzing John on his motivation for creating ‘Young and Wild.’
Gatherer was more than happy to share the bigger purpose saying: “This book is about trying to get the issues of wildlife and conservation better understood by young people to hopefully grow their interest around some of our natural treasures. Wildlife is just another part of education and at the end of the day I hope my book will stimulate the learning process and prepare young people for life after school.”
And that’s one of the core purposes of the MRP Foundation Schools Programme, to equip learners to succeed after school and in life. The holistic education model which takes place in five schools includes creative arts and culture lessons, environmental awareness, technology based learning and dedicated physical education classes that all assist in creating an inspired learning environment to develop a well-rounded and empowered learner.
The school principal, educators and learners all thanked Gatherer for sharing his love for South Africa’s natural heritage with the book adding another exciting layer to the learners' education journey.