Why we do what we do, and what we hope to achieve
Today, as never before, the future of life on our planet has become a matter of great concern. What many people did not realize in the past is that there is an interconnectedness between the health of the natural world and human wealth and wellbeing.
Over the past 50 years humans have changed the natural ecosystems that provide us with basic life supporting services more rapidly than in any other period in human history. This is mainly because of our growing need for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel.
However it is possible to make changes to be able to conserve and restore these eco systems, but it requires an integrated and holistic approach.
For many people the answer lies in education. At the JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre we approach this problem holistically through education.
People have to understand that their well- being is connected to a stable and healthy bio physical world for example if our water is not healthy and safe to drink, we cannot be healthy. So our approach is to educate and empower people with knowledge and skills, but also to involve them at grass roots level to participate in change for a better future.
For the young mind, the beauty and magic of our natural world is there to be discovered and to learn from. This introduction is the work of our well trained environmental facilitators at the centre. But their role is even more than that, firstly to be an example and secondly to inspire and motivate the young children of Mamelodi to change their world, so that future generations will also be able to live in a quality environment.
We have developed a number of activities according to our theme rooms which are Biodiversity, Waste, Water and Energy that support and enhance the National Curriculum. All these activities are interactive and are there to firstly introduce the children to the wonder of our natural and social world but also to engage them in a process whereby they can make their own sustainable life style choices. The aim is to leave motivated and inspired to be part of the change in their schools and communities.