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Kinder Wilderness in Durban

The kinder wilderness is a joint project of eThekwini Municipality, the private girls' boarding school Inanda Seminary and the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Next to Inanda Seminary an ecologically sensitive large green open space is located. The idea behind the project is to turn this space into an educational and recreational facility for the girls' boarding school and local schools as well as for further interested groups of the local population. The estate is situated near the source of the Gobogobo River which flows into the uMhlangane Catchment. Therefore, the project will contribute to the improvement of water quality, biodiversity and the reduction of waste disposal in the river as well as to increasing awareness in the local population.

The idea of a kinder wilderness is based upon the concept of the Kinderwildnis in Bremen, Germany, which is an open natural area in the city for children and managed by an NGO. It includes an early childhood environmental education program with outdoor activities and plays for pre-school and primary school children. The respective project in Durban will be expanded to meet the group of high school youths and their educational and recreational needs as well. For the design of the educational philosophy concept behind the project, local actors from Bremen in the field of environmental education will pass on their experience. This is done, for example, by short exchange visits, longer accompanying phases by experts who are already retired (Senior Expert Service) and/or internships in Bremen offered to the participants of the project in Durban.

To experience fun with and in nature, helps city children to realize that nature makes you feel good. The knowledge of many people about natural surroundings is often incomplete. Television or computers do not provide the same experiences as does the direct contact with nature. Environmental education is designed to fill this gap with well thought-through activities in free nature. Particularly children of pre-school and primary school age are inspired by all kinds of activities in nature as, for instance, the project in Bremen shows.

The kinder wilderness is an important and often missing part of urban and suburban areas. Around the private girls' school Inanda Seminary children, especially from disadvantaged parts of the town in KwaMashu, Durban, will be given the opportunity to move in nature, to explore, touch and smell it. The children will play, discover and learn with natural materials. The whole area is aimed to become a big natural playground with an environmental education offer.

As an actively used environmental educational facility, the kinder wilderness will allow children to build up an emotional connection to their natural surroundings with the goal to grow up as environmentally aware citizens. The early childhood education program and the educational activities for young people provide younger generations with an opportunity to raise their awareness for climate change and what each individual can do in his or her own life with respect to climate change and climate adaptation.

Mentorship - Workshops

It is planned that children of different ages visit the area: younger pupils from the secondary school Inanda Seminary as well as primary school children attending the surrounding public schools. The pupils from Inanda Seminary are planned to collect points in social skills. The kinder wilderness will give them the opportunity to carry out own workshops with a focus on environmental issues for primary school pupils.