Let’s take a look at a day in the life of the Mpisi learners…
The classroom goes quiet and only the crinkling of wrappers can be heard as the schoolchildren open their Nkosi bars. Sitting sweetly at their desks in their neat blue and yellow uniforms, the young learners break into smiles and little jigs as they bite into the bars during class time. Before the students settle into their school work for the day, these nutritious and energy-dense supplements to the food provided at school help their little minds prepare for all the learning they need to do. The students’ teachers can see the difference. When their students’ bodies are well-nourished, they’re better able to concentrate, their moods are elevated, and they can focus on all those books open on their desks before them.
We look after the elephants in our care with the same dedication, making sure they receive the right food and sufficient energy to help them thrive and not only survive. It’s a daily responsibility. Making sure new generations in the communities around us can thrive is just as important to us and it’s why we invested in the Nkosi Bar Nutrition Project at Mpisi School, close to us at HERD. By fundraising and partnering with sponsors, we’re able to show the learners and teachers how the elephants are helping local people. Educating our youth about elephants is important in ensuring the conservation of the species for years to come.
HERD Founder, Adine Roode always says that we need to make HERD and elephant conservation something that is sustainable and that can outlast us. So that one day when we’re old or no longer here, the species and orphans in need have other custodians to care for, protect, and fight for them.
We shared previously about our last outing with the Mpisi School students as we invited some of the children to visit HERD and meet three of our friendly elephant bulls. This served as a learning opportunity and a chance to foster a love of elephants and nature, showing the kids a world they might otherwise not have access to.
Our work with the Mpisi School is multi-faceted and serves as a model of what can be done when people come together.
Elephants might be our key focus at HERD, but we cannot protect them without ensuring our communities are protected too.
The More Money We Raise, the More Children We Can Support
You can help us to support the little learners at Mpisi by sponsoring our community work and contributing whatever you can to the cost of Nkosi bars, data analysis, scales and measuring tapes needed to track the students’ progress with the bars, vegetable seeds, fruit trees, topsoil, and transport to the school.
For only $10 USD, you can help 22 children with a nutritional Nkosi Bar which might be their first healthy “meal” of the day. DONATE HERE >
Our own HERD elephant carer, Khensani attended Mpisi School in her junior years, and is helping to facilitate and run our projects with the children and teachers. Many of the kids here will have their only meal of the day at school, as they come from impoverished homes where parents can’t always provide adequately for their families.
Through our Nutrition Project which includes the supplementary nutrition bars and a community vegetable garden, we assist in the physical and mental well-being of school children during a critical time in their lives. The Nkosi Super Bars are distributed by Wellspring NPO and were created to help take a stand against childhood malnutrition. The bars contain essential macronutrients crucial for the development of children under the age of six.
Malnutrition is causing the irreversible loss of physical and cognitive ability among our children and is a leading cause of death among children in South Africa. Food programs are under strain and in need of creative and sustainable interventions.
HERD Trust and NTT Toyota Hoedspruit sponsored 15,800 Nkosi Superbars for the period March 2022 to December 2022 for the Grade R school children at Mpisi School. The children received bars three times a week. HERD Trust and NTT Toyota Hoedspruit each paid for 50% of the cost of the bars.
In 2023, we decided to continue supporting the children who were now in Grade 1 and sponsored 3,600 bars for the period January 2023 to February 2023 for the Grade 1 school children. We will continue with the project for the remainder of the year. It gave us great joy to add the next group of Grade R pupils, the class of 2023, as we expanded the Nkosi Superbar project to include approximately 340 pupils in 2023 – up from 170 pupils in 2022. Throughout 2023, a total of roughly 42,000 Nkosi Bars will be consumed as part of this project. Jabulani lodge in our reserve in Hoedspruit also started contributing towards the project and contributed 3,600 bars to the new Grade R children of 2023 for the period January 2023 to February 2023. Freight Care Logistics started sponsoring the courier service of the Nkosi Superbars from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit in February 2023.
Thank you for your support! Little bodies need a lot of help during their critical development stages and your kindness can make a life-long difference.