Thornybush Community initiatives - Manyangana High School
Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela.
Manyangana High School is located just outside Hoedspruit, which is the closest town to Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, and is part of our Simbambili/Uthla/Manyangana High School Garden Project.
The students of Manyangana receive support from this initiative from the ground up, starting with a supply of nutritional vegetables. Many of the children who attend these rural schools have little access to proper nutrition throughout their childhood years, and some come from extremely impoverished backgrounds where the only meals they receive are at school. Children cannot concentrate, never mind flourish, under these conditions.
Our projects attempt to provide children with the basic nutrition they need in order to make studying an enjoyable and successful endeavour.
Fresh from the gardenFor almost a decade, a team of nine local women have been tending a garden opposite the Manyangana High School where they grow high quality herbs, vegetables and edible flowers with the assistance of the Simbambili/Uthla/Manyangana High School Garden Project.
These vegetables are sold to our game lodges, to a few retailers in the area, and to the immediate community, in order to generate income for these ladies and their extended families. The garden also provides vegetables such as cabbages, spinach, onions and tomatoes free of charge to Manyangana High School, twice a week, and the ladies pay a rental to the school for the use of the land.
The Thornybush Collection supports this garden initiative by providing seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, water tanks, shade cloth and irrigation systems from funds raised.
In addition, we have fitted extra geysers to the western side of the High School and installed a new 5 000 litre water tank.
Manyangana High School has also received assistance from other nearby game lodges and the Columba Project, which has led to a decrease in absenteeism and teenage pregnancy. The matric pass rate has since increased from 32% in 2011 to 99% in 2013.
Seeing our conservation community working together to achieve results like this is the ultimate reward for all our efforts.