You might have noticed through social media and other reports that a Non Profit Company or NPC called ‘The Selati Wilderness Foundation’ has been created. The main purpose of this non-profit company is to enhance the value of Selati by appealing to like-minded people and entities to help sustain this wonderful legacy that we are privileged to be part of.
The specific objectives of the NPC are to support our immediate local community, to protect and enhance endangered wildlife and biodiversity on Selati and to assist with raising funds for protection of our diverse fauna and flora. Conservation issues are becoming increasingly topical on a worldwide basis and are generating much interest and public support. The NPC provides a transparent and direct means of communicating with the public and raising awareness and funds because, as we all know, maintaining and protecting wildlife comes at a substantial cost. We have begun talking to various corporates and individuals locally and internationally around the challenges we face as a private reserve and by spreading the word we are hoping to attract the necessary funds to support the various objectives
The NPC is registered as a Non-Profit Organization as well as a Public Benefit Organisation which allows the NPC to provide a tax certificate for any donors to claim donations made against their tax submissions.
The NPC has a separate set of directors from the Selati Big 5 board made up of Rob Snaddon, Salomon Joubert, Garth Batchelor and Alan du Toit.
The NPC has had initial success in raising awareness around its objectives and the early donations made it possible for the NPC to sponsor the introduction of the female cheetah which has to-date being successful ensuring the survival of her four cubs.
The NPC has also taken on the sponsorship of the Bush Buddies program and, together with Halls’ support, 3 successful weekends have been held this year. The program brings together high school children from Penryn school in Nelspruit and children from the local Zivuko school. The purpose of these weekends is to allow South African youngsters from diverse backgrounds to get to know one another within the context of Selati and the neutral and inspiring space it offers. Besides attempting to build bridges between diverse communities the program seeks to create awareness of the environment and to identify and support individuals that may become active in the conservation arena.
The NPC has recently received approval of its proposal from the local Government department (LEDET) to establish a cycad nursery. The ultimate purpose of the project is to create additional populations of Encephalartos dyerianous on Selati. This cycad, which is found in the wild exclusively on Selati is currently under severe threat from poaching. Continued poaching could push this small population into extinction. The nursery will be established via collection and pollination of the seeds for controlled germination. This is a long term commitment as cycads are slow growing and the generation of seeds from female plants occur at intervals of 4-5 years. The approval from LEDET for the NPC to proceed is a significant milestone as previous attempts from the private sector have not come to fruition.
On the community support front, following a request from the principal of the local Gravelotte Primary School, the NPC has undertaken to renovate and upgrade a hall at the local Gravelotte primary school. The previously neglected building is required for a new Grade RR introduction to the school. The role of early education in transforming our communities is critical and the NPC felt that we could contribute meaningfully to this initiative. The school has some interesting links to Selati in that both Henry Dunn and Piet Warren were pupils at Gravelotte primary in their youth.
The renovation is almost complete and the handover is scheduled for next year January prior to the new school year. The NPC with help from Selati staff and volunteers has the building in great condition with the addition of new toilet and bathroom facilities, painting, and carpentry as well as electrical and flooring repairs. We now need to furnish and equip the classroom and would like to appeal to members and friends of Selati to assist with donations of books and toys suitable for children aged 5-6. Any furnishings such as bookshelves, a teacher’s desk and play mats etc would also be greatly appreciated.
If you can help with these donations, the school and the NPC would be very grateful if you could drop off materials at Selati head office or if you would to like to assist with a cash donation of any amount, the NPC account details are:
Account name: Selati Wilderness Foundation NPC
Name of Bank: Investec Bank Limited
Branch Name: Grayston Drive
Branch Code: 580105
Account number: 10012229229
Swift code: IVESZAJJXXX
Please feel free to contact Tania directly for further information.
There are a couple of other projects in the pipeline, all require funding so please follow our social pages to be kept up to date on what we have going on and how you can help us make a difference.