World Clean-Up Day

2008-09-20


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Media Release - Collect a Can

SOAPkidz Embark on Clean up Campaign

By Mmoneng Gwebu

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Moreleta Spruit Environmental Education Day

Report Back

By Dawn Zimmerman

We’ve done it again! On the 20th of September the SOAPkidz group got together with 123 children from SOS Mamelodi, Maria Klopper Children’s home, Danville, Wolmer, President Kruger Children’s home, House of Hope and the Louis Botha Children’s home to clean the Moreleta spruit. This has become an annual event to clean the Moreleta Spruit supported by Pick ‘n Pay Hyper Faerie Glen and the Pioneer Museum and 119 volunteers who volunteer their services free of charge to support and accompany the many enthusiastic children who took part in the day.

Early on Saturday morning the two hundred and thirty-two SOAPkidz and SOAPkidz volunteers gathered at the back gate to the Moreleta spruit, behind Pick ‘n Pay Hyper Faerie Glen. Breakfast of soup and bread was provided once again through the generosity of Pick ‘n Pay Hyper Faerie Glen Hypermarket.

Looking around us, we saw papers and mess all along the river and as the children started out each with a few rubbish bags sponsored by PETCO and the Nature Conservation Eastern Section, we started to see the change in the environment. An environmental talk given by Lena Motihama from the Madison Ecco School in Hammanskraal gave the children an understanding of the importance of what we were doing and the negative effect we as humans have on our environment. All along the route, we were accompanied by supporters such as the SAPS Garsfontein, the Friends Groups of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve and the Christian Motor Cycles Association Waverley supplying fruit and cool drink to the tired children.

Further along the river, the children were given a demonstration by Richard and Hannes of the Nature Conservation on the eradication of invader species such as Lantana, bug weed and Seringa. The eradication of these plants will conserve water in the river. Fun was had by all and with 348 bags of rubbish, wet feet and exhausted we reached the Pioneer museum in Silverton. Hotdogs and cool drinks once again donated by Pick ‘n Pay Hyper Faerie Glen were enjoyed by the children.

Walking the 10 km was tiring but also inspiring. Seeing the nature and wildlife along the river, gives one hope that our river is not dead yet, amongst others we found wild strawberries, Arum Lilies and signs of wildlife in roots dug up and droppings of jackal along the route. Fish were even spotted in the reserve by the old Plumbago restaurant. Other not so indigenous but equally beautiful plants such as the Bottle-Brush, Jasmine and Honey-suckle were frequently seen all along the river.

Sadly the water is green and obviously very polluted and we appeal to all residents who live along the river to join with SOAPkids to try and conserve the river and the remaining wildlife. The SOAPkidz have once more contributed to a better environment and did their part for “World Cleanup”


Moreleta Spruit Clean-Up... Volunteers needed.

Event info and Route Map

SOAPkidz wants to make a big impact on the environment this year. One of our biggest projects will be the cleaning of the Moreleta Spruit on 20 September 2008, to transform it into an unsoiled, beautiful, hiking trail for everyone to enjoy. We can achieve this by working closely with the different Conservation and other groups, involving kids from children’s homes in our project. Of course having fun, while doing the work, will be at the top of our list.

Since the preservation of nature is something that lies very dear to the heart of each and every person involved with SOAPkidz, we are determined to make this, another great success story for nature as well as the children involved.

Children:
200 teenagers from various children’s homes and places of safety will be invited to participate in the event. They will be divided into 20 teams for a whole day of work, excitement and interesting talks, starting with a breakfast at the Faerie Glen Pick ‘n Pay and ending at the Pioneer Museum in Silverton – about a 10 km hike.

Activities will include:
Breakfast; Treasure hunt; Crossword puzzles; Tree planting; De-weeding; Obstacle course; Recycling; and obviously hiking.

- DOWNLOAD ROUTE MAP -

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Caring Community:
The SOAPkidz organisation wants to make caring for our children and environment a number one priority in our community. In an effort to give the community an opportunity to participate in this initiative, we are inviting anyone to become a volunteer for the SOAPkidz.

Volunteers:
The job of a volunteer consists of anything from, helping with the food and drinks, to being assigned to a group of kids for supervision through activities, to planning or presenting activities. Helping with transport to and from activities, giving smiles and hugs, planning of events, admin or helping with PR. What ever you feel you can contribute, we can use, and you will be welcomed with open arms and hearts.

If you are not already one…what are you waiting for? You are missing out on a whole lot of fun and “feel good”.

For this next event (above), we will need a lot of hands, so please let us know as soon as possible, if we can count you in.

Sincerely,

The SOAPkidz Team


"Volunteer Feedback"

"It was a real experience for us, on behalf of all the Ukukhula members that attended, I would like to say a huge thank you for giving us an opportunity to give back to the community. Attached is a list of all the volunteers that attended that day. "

Sharon

"Thank you for a fantastic day. I think all the ERM volunteers enjoyed themselves although everyone was very tired by the end of the day.

Some general feedback from myself and the other ERM volunteers:

· In general a very well organised and fun day;
· The route could have been better marked in one or two places;
· Might have been a little to far for some of the children;
· Could have provided water for the day at breakfast and more water along the way.

ERM would really like to have an ongoing involvement in your SOAPkidz events so please keep us informed of opportunities. I will also keep checking your website.

Would you like some of the photographs I took during the day? "

Libby Redding

"Thank you so much for a fantastic day. I really had an amazing time and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Some feedback: We had a group of kids from the Maria Kloppers (I think that’s it) children’s home with ages ranging from 8 to 14. There were 8 children in total. They were the most well mannered easy going fun loving kids. And were such a treat to lead and assist with.

What worked:
· The start and finishing events were pretty well organised and eventful.
· The “Regular” SOAPkidz co-ordinators were all good leaders and provided good direction to the newbies.
· The relaxed atmosphere puts new comers, as well as the kids at ease
· The SOAPkidz signage along the route really helped
· The communication and administration of the event was really great
· The bright red T-Shirts were fantastic as I could always find the kids if they ran up ahead.
· Franz was a great help with ferrying volunteers to get cars.

What did not work:
· Staff at Pick N Pay were not informed of our being there and needing to use the loos.
· At the last leg of the hike we were rather confused whether to go through to construction or to take the kids on the road as there was no signage. We eventually took the kids along the road where thank goodness they were well behaved, but if they weren’t it could have been very dangerous as the road was extremely busy.
· One of out little boys had a runny tummy and this proved quite difficult along the route with no toilets and nowhere really to wash hands. I recommend that all volunteers pack some wet wipes into their back packs for future events, i.e add to the list of “what to bring”.
· We were the first group to arrive at the Christian Motorcyclists and we had a rest while we waited for some more bags to arrive. My only minor little gripe was that they co-ordinators here were eating all sorts of chocolates and sweets in front of the kids and I really felt that they had ample time to eat their snacks before our arrival.

All in all though it was really worth every minute. I really am amazed at how well everything was organised and the amount of people that needed to be included, consulted with, etc to make the event a success. Thanks again. "

Pamela



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