Preparing and mentoring individuals within Flower Valley’s field-based work contributes towards increased probability of employment and opportunities for growth during a time of stasis. This is essential given the current state of the South African economy being strained with lock down restrictions.

The Flower Valley Conservation Trust hosts a number of opportunities to engage in learning which is current and offers hands-on experience for attendees.

As part of the preparation for the Alien Clearing Project, funded by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, participants underwent annual medical examinations. Flower Valley facilitated health and safety induction training focused on the Covid-19 pandemic for 141 participants planned to work in the upcoming project. This forms part of the project’s risk mitigation plan in reducing the spread of the virus.

An experiential approach to learning was done with the snake and field survival training modules for 42 attendees. The training held over three days included basic map reading skills, snake identification, first aid procedures and practical assessments. Thirteen participants qualified in chainsaw competency, which offers employment opportunities in alien clearing projects, wood cutting and forestry. This was held at Flower Valley Farm over 10 days and forms part of the alien clearing project.

Flower Valley held teacher workshops on music, movement and storytelling at Buffeljagsbaai and Masahkane Early Learning centres during November and December. Storytelling is a powerful tool to enable young children with learning . A good story brings out the imagination of the child in how it is told. The underlying values and message that is conveyed brings healing, stimulates creative play and imagination.  Engaging children through stories of the heart and reading from books, is a focus of Flower Valley when working with teachers.

Music and movement are  fun ways to develop gross motor development of young children. This is especially important after the lockdown period, where movement was restricted.  Gross motor development is a vital component of a child’s growth.  Hosting these workshops contribute towards better muscle co-ordination and movement development in young children, so that they can be more adept in future.

Flower Valley encourages lifecycle learning starting with the child, and promotes practical and physically engaging methods of capacity building. Testimonials of the trainees show their appreciation of investments made by donors and supporters of Flower Valley.

“Thank you for a wonderful course. I am so happy for the experience I gained. This is paving my way for a fruitful future.” Derek Massias