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2017 International Save The Frogs Day in SA

On the last Saturday of April since 2008, International Save The Frogs Day lives out its mandate as the worlds leading amphibian conservation organisation. To use International Save The Frogs Day as a means to raise awareness about the global endangerment of frogs.

Countries all over the world join forces on the last Saturday of April to educate communities about frogs and conservation in general. Food chains and ecosystems are naturally interdependent. Therefore, one cannot look at the endangerment of frogs without taking into account environmental factors and restrictions such as urbanisation and pollution.

Giant African Bullfrog in DiepslootDid you know that the Giant African Bullfrog is endemic to the Diepsloot (river)? According to Leap Day For Frogs, The Giant Bullfrog is South Africa’s largest frog species. Although these frogs have a life expectancy of 45 years, they cannot procreate until they are at least 12 years of age. Since “80% of this species’ habitat has been lost in urban areas, particularly in Gauteng”, it is important that we teach communities about the crucial role that frogs play in our ecosystems. To regulate the potential over-population of creatures such as flies and rats.

#FrogsMustRise #RatsMustFall are the hashtags and war cry of almost 200 children who marched from the Father Louis Blondel Centre in Ext 10 of Diepsloot to Shumbashaba (plot 112, Mnandi Road), with the help of South Africa’s Police Service (SAPS) in Diepsloot. The event was sponsored by The Wot-If? Trust in collaboration with Dr Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots South Africa programme as well as Shumbashaba.

 

Shumbashaba‘s facility is all about “Horses Helping People” so this farm gives children a holistic approach to learning about animals and the environment. Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots programme was founded in 1991 and has since expanded to included 100 chapters in countries all over the world. The programme is fundamentally about encouraging the youth to take ownership of their futures by taking a stand today! National Coordinator for the Roots and Shoots South Africa programme, Rita Groenewald, oversees the implementation of this programme in 10 regions within South Africa. One of her most successful groups could be recognised as the 60+ pupils that attend the weekly programme inside the Father Louis Blondel Centre (FLBC) in Ext 10, Diepsloot. This facility is managed by The Wot-If? Trust.

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The Wot-If? Trust has become synonymous with building a brighter future for Diepsloot. Through various programmes and initiatives Wot-If? facilitates the development of a Diepsloot 2030 vision. Consultation with community stakeholders plays a crucial part in the (systemic) approach Wot-If? undertakes to socially and economically uplift the Diepsloot community. Saturday, 29 April 2017, marks the fourth year Wot-If? chose to sponsor the annual International Save The Frogs Day celebrations. Every year it gets bigger and better with regards to the impact it has on children’s understanding of animals and the environment.

 

IMG_8351The 2017 International Save The Frogs Day programme entailed a range of touch points about frogs. A froggie market with Wot-If? Women’s Empowerment handmade products was on sale. This was followed by a talk about the similarities between endangered species (specifically vultures) given by Vulpro and The MonteCasino Bird Gardens. The cherry on top had to have been the edutainment with frogs, birds and reptiles. The fear, curiosity and anxiety about these species soon evaporated as children were given the chance to constructively engage with these animals. Even the Women’s Empowerment handmade products participants (who are far beyond their youth) were eager to learn more about their environment. The programme came to an end with Dance To Be Wild – an initiative that uses dancing as a medium to raise awareness about “wild animals” and their environment – sharing a pantsula piece.

Today, on the 29th of April 2017, close to 300 people (including all the volunteers and children) who care about Diepsloot and its prosperity came together to learn about the environment and celebrate frogs. Hopefully each of those people makes a greater impact in the world by sharing what it is they learned. But change doesn’t come from hope, it comes from work! So we look forward to seeing you all on the last Saturday of April 2018 and so on… View full photo album on FB

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