Learners sacrifice holidays for Zoo

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Learners from Bloemfontein are sacrificing their holiday to help out at the Bloemfontein Zoo.

While other learners are enjoying their holidays with leisurely activities, 20 learners in Bloemfontein have volunteered their time to clean the local zoo.
The learners are part of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) Safety Ambassadors Programme, which focuses on teaching the learners on how to make positive contributions to society.
Nicro safety ambassador co-ordinator, Lehlohonolo Motshabi, said, “What we do is, we introduce them to our initiatives and activities for two years, thereafter the schools must take whatever knowledge and skills the learners have acquired during the programme and implement it in their own schools.”
Motshabi said safety ambassadors are chosen from learners from Grade 9 to 11. Area manager for Nicro in the Free State and Northern Cape, Marita van Kraayenburg, said this project does not only focus on cleaning but also offers the learners valuable opportunities to understand the world of work better. “There is no monetary remuneration but the learners know exactly what is being done in which job sector, so they can make the right career decisions and gain a bit of experience in the process.”
Local businesses, Big Mac Take Aways, Clover and Debonairs, showed their support of this philanthropic project by providing food and refreshments to energise the adolescents as they work.
A Grade 11 learner from Hodisa Technical High School, Vuyo Mbelo, said, “Through Nicro’s efforts, I now realiae that I have a passion for helping others. I believe that the work we do through Nicro is important as it helps us make the world a better place,” Mbelo said.
The safety ambassadors will serve a total of 50 hours at the zoo under supervision of Nicro’s representatives. This programme started on the 3rd of July 2017 and will end on the 14th of June 2017.
A group of 45 ambassadors from Hodisa, Moemedi, Kopanong and HTS Louis Botha High School will daily be sent to the Bloemfontein Zoo during this time. – PULANE CHOANE
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za