Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Video of Yeats the Cheetah Visiting School

Check out this cool video of Yeats, the ambassador cheetah from the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, visiting a rural community in Johannesburg.


This is a series of visits, based on a holistic environmental theme. From learning about domestic animals, recycling and up-cycling, to where we all fit into the environment, ending off with an ambassador cheetah visit, the learners in the community are getting exposed to a whole new world. Thank you Loreal Kiehl's for making this happen! We believe this has been very memorable for the 150 odd vulnerable children that have benefited from these visits.

If you would like to support our education programme please visit the following pages to donate any amount - remember every little bit helps.


Chat soon,

Rita Groenewald
Community Help Enviro Education Through Animals
In association with The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre of Dewildt

Friday, 31 October 2014

Celebrate International Cheetah Day 2014

International Cheetah Day - 4 December 2014

Cheetahs are a flagship species, well known for being the world's fastest land mammal. What many people might not know about this spotted beauty, is that they have declined drastically in the last 100 years world-wide from approximately 100 000 individuals throughout Africa, Middle-East and Asia, to an estimated 
10 000 at the moment. At the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre of Dewildt, our team, under the leadership of the legendary Ann van Dyk, is passionate about educating the public about the plight of the cheetah. Although the Centre is well know for breeding cheetah, wild dog and many other endangered species throughout the years, our main focus remains education.
Mime - a beautiful 2 year old cheetah following the lure at the cheetah run at The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

Graca was an amazing athlete that is best known for her race against the South African rugby player Bryan Habana

Yeats, a school going ambassador cheetah at the young age of 4 weeks.
To ensure as many people as possible are able to learn about conservation, our environment, and the reality of losing many precious species, our education team has to venture off the farm into various communities with the message of environmental awareness. The most important staff members of the education team include an ambassador Anatolian Dog named Jedi, and Egyptian vulture named Sagira, and our ambassador cheetah - Yeats. During school holidays, our team also organises visits to the Centre for underprivileged learners. To celebrate International Cheetah Day on 4th December this year, our team urges cheetah supporters from around the world to donate money to this amazing cause, and help rural learners experience time on our farm, and learn about the animals at the Centre. The education programme is called "Community Help Enviro Education Through Animals" or "CHEETA" for short.
Yeats at a rural school in Alexandra (Johannesburg)

Learners upcycling
Any donation is welcome, and "CHEETA" has a GivenGain account for secure donations, or you can visit Justgiving where Yeats Cheetah has a fundraiser page to bring the learners our to the centre. Please visit our websites to learn more about the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, as well as CHEETA www.dewildt.co.za and www.cheeta.org.za

Chat soon,

Rita Groenewald
Education Manager - CHEETA
Tel. +27 12 504 9906
An orphanage at the Centre 

The learners from the orphanage playing in the veld.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Education Team Update

Latest news from the education team:

We had some wonderful visits. Some of the highlights include having Jedi, our Anatolian dog ambassador, and Sagira, our beautiful rare Egyptian Vulture ambassador, at Wits’ Yebo Gogga this year. These ambassadors and the education team were conveying the message about the plight of the African Wild dog and vultures. Sagira was a big hit with the children, and it is wonderful to see how people’s perception of vultures can be changed once they have met this young ambassador. Sagira also visited the children of the Eco-Pilots group in Pretoria. Jedi has also been busy, with visits to children in Mamelodi, working with Veterinary Students from Onderstepoort, educating the youngsters about how to look after their domestic animals. Yeats has matured very well as a school going ambassador cheetah, and he has visited schools all over, including Laerskool Menlopark, Cornwall College, as well as some adult educational visits in Dalpark and Centurion.

During the July holidays, an outreach programme was held with vulnerable children at the Rearabilwe Place of Safety in Ga-Rakuwa. We had numerous visits to their centre, and also had an amazing day with the youngsters at the farm, learning about our wonderful wildlife and our natural heritage. Any donations are welcome for these learners, including stationery, clothes, toys, blankets etc.

The team has also been working in Alexandra, Johannesburg, throughout August at the Afrika Tikkun community centre. This is a series of visits, based on a holistic environmental theme. From learning about domestic animals, recycling and up-cycling, to where we all fit into the environment, ending off with an ambassador cheetah visit, the learners in the community are getting exposed to a whole new world. Yeats was unbelievably sweet, and the children were so well behaved. Clare Vale and Nokuthula Radebe gave motivational talks after Yeats visited the learners, and this was an amazing ending to an awesome experience with these learners. Clare Vale is a well know Racing driver and drifter, as well as chairperson of Women in Road Safety She is also Yeat’s adoptive mommy.  Nokuthula recently climbed Kilimanjaro through Trek4Mandela in support of Caring4Girls, and is well known as an adventure motorcyclist and sports enthusiast.

Thank you Loreal Kiehl's for making this happen! We believe this has been very memorable for the 150 odd vulnerable children that have benefitted from these visits. It was an amazing collaboration, and the education team can’t wait to be involved with more of these in the future…

We will be holding holiday programmes at the centre both during the upcoming September/October school holidays, as well as in December. This is loads of fun for the young explorer. A great deal of time will be spent learning about the creatures, great and small, at our centre, as well as the importance of protecting our environment.

Thank you all our South African citizens who have already added CHEETA, North West Province, as a beneficiary on their MyPlanet cards. If you would like to help us raise funds for our education programme at no cost to you, please visit www.myschool.co.za to sign up for a rewards card, or email us for an application form.

To invite us to your school, scout group of corporate event, or for more information about our holiday programmes, please email me on education@dewildt.co.za  Like Community Help Enviro Education Through Animals on facebook, or follow @yeatscheetah on twitter to stay in touch with the latest education developments.

Warm regards,

Rita Groenewald

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Latest News from the Education Team

News from Community Help Enviro Education Through Animals

The education team would like to welcome our new staff member, Ntsae Sekati. She is completing her nature conservation diploma with UNISA, and is a valuable asset to our team. Ntsae was actually a participant in our education programme when she was in high school, so it is wonderful to have her as an education officer at the centre.

Educational visits to our underprivileged school, Lowe Primary, were made possible by a donation from Jackie Navarro of Wild Wonders. Jedi was a big hit at Lowe, even though the learners were a little hesitant in the beginning. Jedi visits schools during one of the visits leading up to wild animals, where learners are given more information about taking care of domestic animals.

Jedi at Lowe Primary
Ntsae grooming Yeats the cheetah

International Frog day

Every year, all over the world, learners and adults celebrate international frog day. This year, CHEETA was involved in a frog day celebration in conjunction with the WOT-IF trust, as well as JGI’s Roots and Shoots programme. The event was held in Diepsloot on 26th April, with the main focus on the African bullfrog. Lydia, a resident of Diepsloot inspired all the parties, as she is a passionate bullfrog enthusiast in her community, promoting conservation of this endangered amphibian. The event was a huge success, with learners writing and performing plays and poems, as well as making beautiful drawings and other artwork which helped the participants learn about frogs and their conservation while preparing for the day. Bullie the bullfrog was at the event, and we thank Greg Strydom for allowing us to “borrow” this fantastic froggie, who wowed and entertained everyone. With about 250 participants entering their contributions for competitions, there are fantastic prizes for individuals as well as classes that participated. We hope this will be an annual event, as the learners and educators were exposed to a whole new side of frogs!

Visits were also made to a few different schools at Kloofwaters camp, Woodhill College, Jakaranda Voortrekkers, as well as a local Christian camp for learners from Ga-Rankuwa, Lighthouse Ministries.

Big thanks to Wild Wonders for their donation. If you would like to contribute to “CHEETA” (the education division of the centre) you can donate on the GivenGain website http://www.givengain.com/ from anywhere in the world. No contribution is too small, and makes a big difference for our team to conserve through education.

South Africans can sign up for a MyPlanet card (http://www.myschool.co.za) , and add CHEETA (www.cheeta.org.za) as their beneficiary, earning money for CHEETA every time you shop at the participating stores – earn money for us at no cost to you!

If you would like to get involved, and do fundraising as a class, company or individual for our education programme, please let me know and I can help you with ideas.
For more information, or to invite us to your school, scout group or corporate event, please email me on education@dewildt.co.za
Warm regards,

Rita Groenewald

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Great Training day for young ambassador cheetahs

The young ambassador cheetahs at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre are doing very well. Achilles had his first walk out of his camp yesterday, and was very brave. He had to walk past the honey badger enclosures, and decided that he would like a closer look. After some encouragement, he walked all the way down to the auditorium, and started to get used to the table.
Achillies in the Auditorium
Zorro also took a walk down to the new interaction camp. He had a pep talk from the centre's first ambassador, Byron, who is also his father. Zorro also met a cheetah statue near the reception. He was rather puzzled by the fact that this cheetah didn't move, and didn't react when he tried to groom it.
Zorro grooming the statue near reception
Zorro (left) saying hi to his dad (Byron, right)

For further information about the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, please visit the website www.dewildt.co.za, or visit the education division's website www.cheeta.org.za

Cheetah Greetings,
Rita Groenewald
+27 12 504 9906

Help our education team visit more underprivileged communities, sign up for a MyPlanet card today.

The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre has run an Education Outreach Programme since 2003. The objective has been to visit disadvantaged communities with an Ambassador Cheetah and to educate children and young adults about the need to take care of Animals and the Environment.  In 2010 CHEETA was registered as a Section 18A Non Profit Organisation and works extensively in underprivileged communities.  The Programme consists of various talks at different levels, supported by PowerPoint presentations, experiential learning exercises, and several learning aids in the form of posters and work sheets. There is a workbook for teachers, which encourages them to use the lessons learned as the basis of other learning in the school curriculum - and also results in a more optimistic outlook amongst the teachers.  To date over 100 000 children have benefited from the programme.
CHEETA offers a range of Educational Initiatives, and the focus is on programmes and learning outcomes that are more sustainable for children in disadvantaged communities.  
The idea is to use the Cheetah as a symbol of survival and sustainability and to teach young people about overcoming challenges and being catalysts in their communities for the preservation of natural resources and the improvement of their own lives.

Support CHEETA by signing up for a MyPlanet card today if you live in South Africa, alternatively, please visit our website www.cheeta.org.za to learn about how you can support us.
MyPlanetWant to support an environmental or animal welfare organisation?
How does it work?

The MyPlanet fundraising programme was launched as an extension of MySchool to provide community-minded people like yourself the opportunity to support a worthy cause close to their heart, without costing them a cent. You can support the charity of your choice every time you shop! Our partners will donate a percentage of your spend to the charity you have selected, on your behalf.

Get your free MyPlanet card today, select the Planet charity that you want to support (up to 3), and then, every time you shop at our partner stores (such as Woolworths, Toys R Us, kalahari.com, Reggie's, Engen, Altech Netstar and many more), they will donate a percentage of your purchase, on your behalf. It is so easy to make a difference.

Please email me directly for an application form in PDF format that you can return to me for submission.

Kind regards,

Rita Groenewald

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Fundraising for rural education visits

CHEETA is working with a number of underprivileged learners in schools within the Ga-Rankuwa area. In order for us to visit these learners, we rely heavily on sponsorship as the learners are mostly orphans, or from households that experience extreme poverty. We believe that environmental education is vital in creating a generation that respects our environment, and fights to protect our endangered wildlife. Many learners from Ga-Rankuwa that have been involved in this project in the past have decided to pursue careers in conservation or work within vulnerable communities. 
Let's have fun at school or the office dressing up in cheetah print clothing or wearing plain clothes to school for a good cause! Help our education team visit rural schools by collecting donations from everyone dressing up. You can send your donations to us through our Givengain account (http://www.givengain.com/cause/5140/) or by contacting me directly at education@dewildt.co.za
Please send me pictures!! I hope there will be some awesome cheetah outfits  ;-)

The class or office that raises the most funds will have a video call from one of our ambassador cheetahs from their camp at the centre.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Rita Groenewald
+27 12 504 9906/7/8