The Johannesburg Chapter
The Johannesburg chapter of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization has recently launched the “Earth, the Water Planet”, a project using cutting edge multi-media technology to teach underprivileged children about the wonders of the planet Earth. The programme is designed around the CAPS curriculum and students are taught in relation to their appropriate age groups. Each topic is covered by relevant videos presented on a – 48” inch HDD plasma screen which makes it possible for students to learn the science material through motion imaging in vivid colours (high definition display) with stereo surround sound.
This Project is free of gender, race, political or religious bias. Its core principle is to help the planet by creating a greater depth of environmental awareness whilst encouraging students to obtain a closer understanding of Earth’s phenomena and its history and matters regarding the flora and fauna within the diversity of ecosystems.
This project is currently managed by Sayomi Tasaki whose experience covers more than 18 years in the fields of Biology, Groundwater Ecology, Nature Conservation and the Environment. Through the years of professional experience overseas, Sayomi worked as a marine biologist in the sea fisheries industry, in aquaculture and as a life sciences teacher. In South Africa, she has been accredited with post-graduate Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Johannesburg, where she began a pioneer research project to develop a method for the bio-monitoring of freshwater ecosystems at streams’ headwaters. She further pursued her PhD studies at the School of Environmental Sciences at the North West University. Here she played a role as the leading research scientist on a project for the Water Research Commission to develop a study-model regarding of the ecology of South African groundwater aquifers.
The main objectives of the Johannesburg Chapter’s project are to address the environmental threats we impose on the Earth, as well as to determine how these impacts disrupt, and create imbalances which endanger the health of our vital ecosystems. The project programme is designed to inform the youth of South Africa about the rules governing Earth by enhancing their awareness, so that they can have an understanding of how to preserve resources such as our water.
Another long-term goal of the project is to play a part in the reduction of juvenile delinquency. According to research studies it is a norm for countries with a brittle educational system that 85% of all juveniles who end up in the court system become criminals, and amongst them at least 60% percent are illiterate (NDTAC., 2010). Our objective is to reduce juvenile crime by enhancing the quality of education offered to young people.
How to Help
The donations made by sponsors to the project (which is currently focused in Gauteng), will enable the organisation to raise the quality and number of classes offered. The greater the number of students who have access to knowledge, the greater the amount of information that can be communicated. Donations to the ‘Earth, the Water Planet’ allow for the project to grow geographically, reaching the surrounding urban localities as well as farms and villages in more remote areas eventually growing its capabilities to provide an extensive cover throughout South Africa.
Why a Natural Sciences project ?
Poor conditions for human survival, criminality, and lack of skills are rising parallels in the shaping of behavioural conditions. Countries where the chances for juvenile education are slim, are prone to higher criminal indexes which add to the disregard of human responsibility towards the environment, as part of the educational view point on how humanity impacts on Earth. We believe that a holistic approach which includes a natural science project will enhance South Africa’s socio -political planning and to address the very real challenge of developing future leaders.
Non-Profit Project Application
Our non-profit project applies the curriculum content by using documentaries from sources such as the Discovery channel, National geographic, Cosmos, Mocomi kids, Make-me Genious and others. The teaching technique uses easy-going animated media supported by audio-visual materials. This teaching technique promotes the capacity for concentration which results in improved learning. As a matter of fact the audio-visual methods may also benefit students with learning difficulties. The pilot programme is currently running and has been described as having a beneficial effect on students by the administration at Kids Haven, a large orphanage hosting more than 300 hundred juveniles (http://www.kidshaven.org.za).The Project’s core principle is to help the planet by creating a greater depth of environmental awareness by encouraging juveniles to develop a closer understanding of Earth’s phenomena and its history.