Schools visit in Vaalwater with the EMS Foundation

Features | 2nd Jun 2022

Recently a team from Shambala Private Game Reserve as well as the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, were fortunate to visit three of the schools that are supported by the EMS Foundation in the Vaalwater region, accompanied by Liz Steyn – Patron of the EMS Foundation – and Michele Pickover – Executive Director of the EMS Foundation. The schools we visited were the primary schools EA Davidson and Boschdraai as well as the secondary school Moshia. These schools are in need of basic equipment and supplies to help the children achieve the best results possible and to support the care and investment of the wonderful teachers and principals.  Furthermore, we had the opportunity to recognise the top achievers in each school and had conversations with the heads of the schools to better understand their needs of the learners and the community.

Growth Zones

Part of the initiatives that the EMS Foundation has instituted is the establishment of vegetable Growth Zones at these schools, in order to provide nutritious meals to the children during their school day and to help provide food to their families. At every school, a member of the local community has been employed to manage the gardens with guidance from the Shambala team on what to grow as well as when and how to plant these vegetables to yield the best results to provide the necessary nourishment for the kids.

We started our visit to the schools with a look at these growth zones, accompanied by the principals of each school, where we discussed the progress of the gardens as well as ideas on how to expand the growth zones to ensure that there will always be enough vegetables to meet the requirements of the respective schools. We discussed which veggies would be most suitable, and nutritious, as well as fast growing, so that the turnover of the gardens can best meet the needs of the learners.

Celebrating the top achievers

From here the EMS team handed out schoolbags packed with stationary, notebooks and other study supplies to the top five students in each grade at the respective schools. It was fantastic to see the reaction of the students when they were recognised for their hard work in this manner – and supplying them with more tools to continue delivering the great work they have done in the recent months. There was much pride in the personal achievements and in the knowledge that they were supported and celebrated amongst their peers.

Celebrating together

After celebrating the children’s success from the last school year, snack packs were given to all the children for everyone to join in the celebration.

The experience was extremely heart-warming, and it is something that we, in conjunction with the EMS Foundation, would like to share with our guests. Guests at Shambala are now able to visit the schools and meet with the teachers and principals to see the excellent work done by the schools and the Foundation. We’d like to invite our guests to find out from us how they can participate or support should they choose to.

Pack for a Purpose

Recently, the EMS Foundation and Shambala Game Reserve joined Pack for a Purpose. Pack for a Purpose is an initiative that allows travellers to make a lasting impact in the community at their travel destination. Just a few kilos of space in a suitcase allows travellers to take supplies for the projects Shambala supports, and in so doing making a priceless impact in the lives of local children and their families. The items that are needed for the schools are highlighted on the Pack for a Purpose website, and we will facilitate the collecting of these items to distribute to the relevant schools.

As it is often said, children are our future and they have unlimited potential to become successful businesspersons, doctors, scientists or even the future leaders of our country. Often, this is only possible if they receive the right support in their foundation years to allow them to reach this potential and the team at Shambala Private Game Reserve is extremely proud to be part of many initiatives to assist these future leaders.


(The team with the Principal and Teachers from EA Davidson Primary)


(The team with the Principal of Boschdraai Primary)


(The team with the Principal of Moshia Secondary)


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