Shiners Nursery School Says Thank you!

By | News

Shiner's Nursery Thank You

Our Moshi Shiner's Nursery School project is saying a big thank you to all the donors who generously gave towards building the emergency wall. #makingadifference #donateforgood #ecd African Impact – Moshi, Kilimanjaro

Posted by The Happy Africa Foundation on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Leopard Research Project, Greater Kruger

By | Conservation, News
The Leopard Research Project in the Greater Kruger area is focused on data collection which assists with conservation solutions that protect species and individuals, and contributes to the health of the entire ecosystem.
Population of large carnivores are threatened and experiencing declines in numbers globally. Over a third of South Africa’s leopard habitat is found in just Limpopo province, yet 95% of that is outside of formally protected areas. Despite these issues, the majority of population and conservation-based research has occurred in protected areas. This has led to a lack of data or unreliable results to inform conservation practice. This is why our Leopard Research Project in the Greater Kruger was created.

It is vital that the Leopard Research Project that is done through data collection in Greater Kruger is conducted on private land and that populations are studied in these areas to work towards evidence-based conservation practice. Ultimately, it is only through focused research in these areas that we can develop conservation solutions that will protect these species and individuals’ livelihoods, thus contributing to the health of entire ecosystems.

Through the camera traps bought and in use we are hoping to achieve:
– Leopard captures (photos collected on camera traps)
– Corridors monitored
– Density Studies completed
– Territorial/movement maps created for various predator species
– Snare sweeps completed

In the Greater Kruger Area, the Foundation liaise with multiple partners, both reserve and research, to maximise our data output and ensure that the conservation work we are undertaking with big cats and small species is beneficial and useful. The three main reserve partners, Buffaloland, Rietspruit and Balule, are essential areas to capture data, study specific animals and provide information to our research partners (INGWE, LiMF, Hyaena Specialist Group of the IUCN, EWT and Giraffe Conservation Foundation) to better assess distribution and abundance of their focal species.

  • 2017: We identified the great need of camera traps as a way for us to collect this crucial data in a non-invasive method and to study animals that are usually difficult to study under normal circumstances, such as highly elusive and/or nocturnal animals, especially leopards. The non-invasive camera traps negate the need for equipment such as radio collars and reduce the environmental impact of long game drives that would be necessary to obtain the same amount of data from one camera trap.
  • 2018: Funds were spent on maintaining the camera traps bought in 2017. Currently, we only have enough camera traps to cover a relatively large area of Buffaloland and a small area of Rietspruit.
  • 2019: Our aim is to increase the number of camera traps through an “Adopt a Camera Trap” programme to cover these missing areas and focus on Balule as it is open to Kruger National Park and has the potential for a large variety of species to be researched.

Saving the Environment, EcoBrick by EcoBrick

By | News

Today we celebrate World Environment Day with a focus on our Ecobrick projects in Livingstone, Zambia.

An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle stuffed solid with non-biological waste to create a reusable building block. All that is needed to make an EcoBrick is a plastic bottle or container of some sort (including paper / laminate milk cartons) and a stick to compress plastics, non-biodegradables, and synthetics in to, that would otherwise be thrown into landfill.

With our partner African Impact in Zambia, we’ve decided to adopt this idea and implement it in various building projects whilst involving the community in EcoBrick exchange programs. We have two main places where we are currently sourcing EcoBricks, one is a school called Dambwa Christian Care center and the other is the community of Linda Farm. At the school, we have developed a reward system for the learners; they learn how make EcoBricks from the litter they find around their home and they receive rewards based on the number of bottles submitted. The turnout has been great as the kids are excited for the prizes but are also at the same time engaging with their environment and tackling plastic waste issues from their homes to the open area.

At Linda Farm, which is a community of mainly blind and generally disabled people, we’ve decided to engage the community members in EcoBricking exchanges. Linda Farm is the main area we have used the EcoBricks to build structures, including a piggery, large compost bin and an outdoor enclosure for chickens.

EcoBricks have proved to be an awesome way to get plastic trash of the streets, educate our learners about the environment and a cost-effective way to build much needed structures!

The EcoBrick Compost Bin

EcoBrick Exchange Program

Build It volunteers in action

Meet the Faces of the Foundation – Lisa

By | News

Lisa is one of our current Happy Africa Foundation Interns, hailing from Malta. Lisa spent two months in Rural Zululand, St Lucia before coming to Cape Town in January this year. 

Before I started my internship in South Africa, I had no idea what to expect or what my role was going to be. I was worried I would be excluded, since I would be the only intern on site, and that my tasks would be boring. As soon as I arrived, I realised that a little bit of research could have not only taken me further than packing one pair of flipflops and one sweater for six months, but also could have made me realise that this internship would be far from the usual 9 to 5 at the office; doing mindless paper work and making coffee for others.

While living and working at the volunteer house certainly took some getting used to, with the help of the business manager and the intern coordinator, I quickly discovered what my role as an intern would be. I soon became involved in and responsible for many aspects of the projects, either by physically volunteering on each project or through behind the scenes action at the office. Joining in on planning programming for the week also helped me become more involved in the projects. While basic tasks included tracking finances, donations, and merchandise that I sold; I also had to compile weekly and monthly reports, which are used at head office for the monitoring and evaluation of projects. Organising the monthly quiz night, as well as other fundraisers, was also part of my role, which involved networking with local business to get support in raising funds for the projects. Budgeting and planning a fundraising target for each project also helped direct fundraisers. A big task I didn’t think I would have been involved in was making plans for each project to develop and to become more sustainable and independent, such as finding ways for local businesses to support us through physical contributions or by having them visit the projects to share their knowledge. Planning a big trip for about a hundred kids was also an opportunity I did not think I would have at this stage in my career.

Aside from doing work in the office and on project, engaging with the volunteers was also important during my internship. Being the intermediary between the volunteers and staff helped communication between them on how things were handled on project and at the house. Holding a monthly workshop about The Happy Africa Foundation helped explain to the volunteers the link between the charity and African Impact, something that most volunteers would not have understood before coming to the location. This helped motivate them to join in fundraising events and for some to even do some fundraising of their own when they went back home. Going on trips or doing activities with the volunteers on the weekend also made my stay most enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to explore the area. Taking on some of the weekly roles at the house that volunteers have and joining them in learning about cultural traditions along with a new language also helped us bond over how difficult it was to pronounce the clicks and make the oven work.

This internship is not for the faint-hearted, since it includes facing the daily trial of the scorching heat and relentless wind, climbing mountains in spite of fearing heights, sharing moments of laughter and moments of tears, waving off old friends and welcoming new ones, and above all, facing the poverty and reality that is found in the world. But in the end, it is definitely worth it, because where else would you be able to make life-long friends from all over the world, all united by the need to make an impact on the world, while also gaining some credits from your university and making your CV shine above all others?

To find out more about our internship opportunities click here. 

Meet the Faces: Katarina

By | News

“My name is Katarina Balthazar, I am 60 years of age and first born in a family of three, one sister and a brother. I was born in northwest of Tanzania at the shores of Lake Victoria in a district known as Musoma, it is one of the reasons why I like fish as my favorite dish because I have grown up near the biggest lake in Africa and I have been enjoying the great variety of fish from my childhood.

I was taught how to dig by my mother and that’s how we got most of the food to feed our family, I did casual labor jobs like digging in a nearby family’s farm.

Unfortunately, I only worked for a year and I got sick. I used to do a lot of hard work and I never used to feed my self properly, this led to my illness. I was admitted in the hospital for six months, I still used to receive visits from the family I worked for and they always used to bring me my favorite food. The sickness got worse as time went by and I became unconscious for a long time this caused me to become immobile. When I gained consciousness again I asked the doctors to call the family that I worked for to come and pick me from the hospital. One of the doctors told me quietly that the family would no longer need me to work as I was now immobile.

This was when I was taken to the elderly home in Moshi. I have not yet heard from my brother or the family I worked for, I feel they never thought I would survive due to how sick I was, I too feel like surviving that was a miracle. I was brought to the elderly home while I couldn’t walk, I lied on bed for about a year.

At the new home I made new friends and felt I had a new family. I can now walk! And I am enjoying all different activities organised by African Impact and The Happy Africa Foundation and the visits from our loving volunteers.”

Meet the Faces – Nomonde

By | News

“My name is Nomonde. I stay in Khayelitsha in the community of Harare. I’m running an Early Child Development (ECD) project since 2010 and after school program, Sonwabile Educare.

This program was my dream when I was working in one of the NGOs in Cape Town. I was working with women, and from that experience I realised that they were dealing with the scars of their childhood. Some of the challenges they were facing were the results of their wrong choices that they made in their childhood and their upbringing. From that experience I was always thinking of making a difference in one or two kids in my community so that they do not fall in the same trap.

In 2008 I was retrenched at work, and the first thing I thought about was to start my centre and work with young people. I did parenting training by the social service. After that training I felt that it was high time to start my dream. I fostered 2 kids, one was a relative and the other was from the community. This passion of fostering became bigger and bigger in my heart until I became attached to these kids and I opened a Sonwabile Educare Centre in 2010 so that they could be around home all the time with people they love and know. One of the boys was one month then. The love of children became more and more, the department started to come with children for some temporary safe until their families were identified and taken to them. When they were six one morning it was announced that people are taking care of and more children should register, that’s when I started to follow the procedure of registering and the centre became registered in 2012.

I started to open after care for the children whose parents are at work so that when they are coming from school they will come do their homework and some activities like traditional dance and singing and I taught them some life skills.

My aim about these young people of ages 9-15 is to make sure that they are taught and guided in terms of careers and also be empowered and life skills so that they can be able to confidently make good choices, and build their self-esteem so that they can make informed decisions about their lives. To be able to stand peer pressure, love themselves and accept the fact that they are coming from different backgrounds, but what is important is their future. To take care of their bodies and not be taken advantage of by older people.

My wish is to see them having a multipurpose centre where they can show their talents and keep busy so that they won’t be exposed to things happening in our communities. These young minds need to be taught that knowledge is the power and what the other children are exposed to in the town schools even have in our communities they can experience. With the assistance of The Happy Africa Foundation and African Impact I am definitely sure that my dream is going to be true.”

New Resources for Greater Kruger Reading Club

By | News

In the Greater Kruger area learners are required to have a decent level and understanding of English. Sadly this is currently not the case, and very often learners graduate from primary school with an inadequate understanding of English. Through regular reading club sessions, we can provide learners with the opportunity to read English books with the assistance of volunteers and a great variety of books that encourage an interest in reading.

Recently Shilla Patel, our amazing photography volunteer from the UK donated 40 dictionaries, as well as notebooks, pencils and other stationary to our students at reading club. The students were so excited to receive new resources and they will go a long way to assist with difficult words and expand their vocabulary.

To read more about our Greater Kruger projects click here.

Now an African Impact Ambassador, Shilla Patel continues to fundraise through running a number of half marathons in London – to support her efforts click here. 

Kicking off with Sports Development in Cape Town

By | News

Two weeks ago, the Happy Africa Foundation, in partnership with Sporting Chance and African Impact Cape Town, kicked off our annual street sports tournaments again! Only this year, we added soccer to the mix offering the children two sports to participate in.

On the 21st of October, local children dressed in white Happy Africa t-shirts gathered in the streets of Langa to play soccer and cricket together. The streets were closed off to set up five different courts, each one complete with a referee, organized teams, and cheering bystanders.

This event provides children a safe place to be active and further develop team-work, sportsmanship, and their athletic skills that they have learned in school or elsewhere.

The tournament may specifically cater to the young, however, its benefits reach further, encompassing the greater community as a whole. Using sports as a platform, we are able to bring people together through promoting healthy living and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.

From now until the 2nd of December, both soccer and cricket matches will be held in Khayelitsha and Langa every Friday, with the tournament culminating in a final round to determine the ultimate champions of the respective sports. African Impact volunteers play a pivotal role in the success of the tournament, providing mentor-ship and coaching to the children involved. The Street Sports Tournament is a huge success every year and garners large turnouts of children looking to participate in some competitive, structured play. It is always a great time for everyone involved!


Classroom to Classroom – Creating Global Citizens

By | News

The Happy Africa Foundation is so excited to kick off our new partnership project: Classroom to Classroom.

Schools around the world are pairing up with classrooms at Zambezi Sawmills School in Livingstone, Zambia through a PenPal relationship with Three Trails Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri.

The students in Missouri have received their PenPals, completed the first Classroom to Classroom activity and started writing to their new buddies.

We are all so thrilled to watch relationships form and students to learn what it means to become global citizens!!


GAPA Goes on the Red Buses!

By | News


The morning of October 5 marked the commencement of the second extracurricular enrichment trip with Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids  (GAPA) of the year. Since 2014, the Happy Africa Foundation has worked alongside the grannies at GAPA to provide children who attend their after school program with educational and enriching field trips. These fun outings are held twice yearly, and give the children involved unique opportunities that they would likely not get otherwise to learn about Cape Town. With the help of African Impact volunteers, THAF crafted a day dedicated to giving the GAPA children a chance to experience their city and all of its most notable landmarks through an open top Red Bus Tour!

As the children arrived, groups assembled into fun activities led by African Impact volunteers. From face paint to ‘Buddies Up,’ the children enjoyed a wide variety of games. They even learned a bit about the landmarks they would see, as African Impact volunteers made an effort to change activities so that they would align with the sightings on the Red Bus Tour. ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf’ was changed to ‘What’s the time Mr Clock Tower’ and ‘Duck, Duck, Goose!’ was tweaked to be ‘Red, Red, Bus!’

After lunch and activities, GAPA kids, grannies, and volunteers filed onto three Red Buses. Children received informational headphones and fun activity sheets which they took a particular liking to; constantly, they pointed out different landmarks and structures which they checked off their lists with enthusiasm. These sights included the Castle of Good Hope, Signal Hill, the District Six Museum, and the Kirstenbosch Gardens, to name a few. The children spent much time gazing up at the towering buildings in the city and pointing out fountains and statues to each other, connecting what they were seeing with what they were listening to on their headphones.

Up until this point, the large majority of these children had never had the opportunity to witness the entirety of their city as they were able to do today. Through the GAPA Extracurricular Enrichment Program, they not only experienced the most notable features of Cape Town, but also learned about the history and importance behind them through headphones and worksheets. Further, the children were able to practice some competitive play in Sea Point before hand, which in itself was a special treat. Undeniably, the entire experience was a success from start to finish and provided children with valuable perspective about their own home.

Through assessments, we were able to gauge just how much the children absorbed on the Red Bus Tour. Initially, only 22% of the children knew that the District 6 Museum was a great resource to learn about Cape Town’s history. Afterwards, however, those numbers rose to an impressive 90%. They also successfully gathered that the Kirstenbosch Garden is known for all its beautiful flora and fauna; that the Castle of Good Hope is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town; and that the Sea Point Lighthouse is adorned with red and white stripes. The children proved to have mastered this content, as 100% of the children answered the respective questions correctly in the post-assessment. In total, we saw a very impressive 44.75% average increase in knowledge and understanding. Not too bad for a single day of being out on the buses!

This excursion and all that it has offered to the GAPA community would not have been possible without the assistance of our donors and Happy Africa Foundation supporters. A huge thank you to everyone involved and all of those who helped bring this educational experience to life— couldn’t have done it without you!