Donkerbos, a mainly San community situated in the Omaheke region has over the years had to battle tough semi-arid environment to sustain their livelihoods. Donkerbos is very remote and the community rely mostly on their indigenous knowledge for survival, therefore their environment is an important tool. Often one can observe a community member chewing on a root which is explained to be helpful with tooth pain or soothing a tummy ache. Not only is Donkerbos a source of veld food or medical provider but more importantly the only place they call home, a place that gives a sense of belonging. Therefore, it is of importance to this exceptional community to protect Donkerbos.
Over the years the community has engaged in numerous impressive activities to adapt to climate change. They have started using conservation agricultural methods in their home and community gardens, all the operational boreholes are solar energy powered, the Tsotso stove is produced in the village and used by each household to minimise cutting down of trees, are some of the examples. Recently the community has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reform and constructed a school garden to produce vegetables to supplement the school feeding program. Additionally, the remote community wanted to include their children in their climate change adaptation activities and through funding received through the Small Grands Program of Namibia (SGP) they held a 4 day Climate Change training facilitated by EduVentures. Together with the Donkerbos Primary School teachers and learners the community attended the training which included;
- Mobile classroom sessions on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals,
- Climate change exhibitions sharing in detail what climate change is and how they can help by actively getting involved,
- Taken part in a competition using CC knowledge challenging games,
- Working towards creating a safe and sustainable environment for themselves and others.
A climate change booklet with clear activities engaging both the community, teachers and learners was used to create fun and learning games. The approach the EduVentures team took actively involved all participants which left a lasting impression. The activities helped the community, and the learners form a common understanding and provided a space to bond.
The Desert Research Foundation has worked with the Donkerbos community for over a decade and have witness first-hand their hard work and focus for a better Donkerbos. The training opportunity with EduVentures is another milestone in achieving that goal.