Reaching out to kids with Cheetah Outreach

For two months now TrashBack has been a-runnin’ and a-learnin’. Part of this a-learnin’ process has a lot to do with expanding the vision and scope of our project. This means looking at new ideas, and approaching things in new ways, starting with our rewards system.

The first new reward we have added is a trip to the Cheetah Outreach, an initiative run through the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. Cheetah Outreach promotes “the survival of the free ranging, South African cheetah through environmental education and delivering conservation initiatives”. A really great initiative, and we are proud to be a part of it. This new reward was implemented recently and will now be offered to the TrashBack top collector each week, where the winner will get a chance to take two friends to meet a cheetah!

The promo trip to the Cheetah Outreach was organised for Saturday, October 30th 2011. Jonathan, Andrew and Nicholas from the Trashback team took three groups of three frenzied friends, one parent, as well as Nokwando (our resident Hout Bay recycling centre manager) and her son, to learn more about these majestic animals.

Here is a brief synopsis of the afternoon’s adventure:
With a smooth wrap-up of the usual Saturday rewards day, it was time for the first exciting excursion with our little recycling heroes. They had all proved their material worth and it was time for a reward they will not soon forget. Arriving at the Spier Wine Estate, we were all wearing our high spirits on the sleeves of our TrashBack T-shirts. Jonathan casually ushered us into the outreach centre and proceeded to give us the full guided tour of the Cheetah Outreach facilities, and its furry fauna.
From, black-back jackal siblings, meerkats mates and bat-eared foxes who only eat insects, to cheetah look-a-likes (Servals), patient pacing caracals and an Anatolian Sheppard dog pup breeding programme, this was the place to be! And the kids certainly got the whole story, leaving all the dull moments in the ditch. When the time came to meet the cheetahs, a few nerves had to be conquered first, but our brave little troopers all got a chance to stroke the silky back of the biggest cat they would likely ever see up close.

Then it was time for lunch and play on the grass, the best end to any day. Sandwiches designed by our “out-of-house” graphic designer were enjoyed by all, and the kids still had energy to beat us in a few running races. Happy bellies, happy souls and a lot learnt across the board, but still the most incredible part of it all was seeing their little personalities blossom when presented with the opportunity to express themselves.

To say the least, this pilot trip was an astronomical success! What made it even more so, was the fact that three bright and shiny London-style cabs took us to the venue and back in style, courtesy of Rikkis Taxis. Thanks Rikkis, you guys rock while rolling! Let’s hope we can make the ride a regular deal. Overall, a fantastic experience, and something worth repeating until the Cheetahs get bored of being stroked. Thanks Cheetah Outreach for making this all possible. 1…2…3… TrashBack!

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2 responses to “Reaching out to kids with Cheetah Outreach

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