Another important environmental component of the Umzi Wethu program is the link between the Umzi Wethu and Pride programs. Pride is an urban based, experiential education programme initially started by Wilderness Foundation in Cape Town (Pride of Table Mountain) and expanded to Eastern Cape (Pride of Groendal, Pride of Boschberg) and Kwazulu Natal (Pride of Stainbank). This programme takes school learners on one day, experiential education trails in local wilderness areas. Pride trails are led by enthusiastic volunteer leaders (all of whom come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds) selected from the groups which have participated in previous Pride trails. These Pride Guides are then trained in guiding and environmental issues by the Wilderness Foundation before assisting with coordination and leading of trails.
Recently, Umzi Wethu and Pride linked up to start a new Pride program in Somerset East – this program takes place in the Boschberg Mountain Reserve which is located just behind the Somerset East Umzi Wethu Academy. Umzi Wethu students, trained both as guides and peer educators, have added a life skills element to the environmental education upon which Pride is founded. In both Groendal and Boschberg, Pride Trails now end with interactive peer education activities lead by Umzi Wethu students in order to convey positive lifestyle messages and lessons to trailists.
“Places like Groendal is a place with nature where when people have problems and they really want to forget about it than the Wilderness Area is the place to go to. I feel like a new person and that I have learnt lots at Groendal. Groendal is a wonderful place and express nature to people. The animals are cute and wonderful and I would do anything to come back here again. It a beautiful place and I have seen a snake on my way back. My opinion is they must have more places like this. That Water fall was the most wonderful place to sit and watch and listening to the sound of nature. I wish they mustn’t destroy places like these because is natural and wonderful places to forget about your problems and get a rest." Danielle
“Today was beginning of a beautiful journey. Coming to Groendal was the best decision I’ve ever made. I got to see the beautiful view, I got to learn about threes and animals etc. I must admit it was a tough walk but I went through and it was worth it. Trees plays a big role in our lives because it weren’t for the trees we’d be walking around with nebulizers and that would not be nice. A world without tress & plants would be like a body without a soul. We’d be in incomplete, vulnerable and we’d walk around like zombies bored out of our skulls because there would be no animals to explore and no oxygen to breathe." Akhona
“My experience here today was fun and educational. I have learned about the positive roles that the animals and plants plays in our lives. I think this place should never be closed down because we as the youth have still lots to learn so we can appreciate our biodiversity. I really enjoyed myself here today. I also think the plants here will also eliminate most of the C02 which courses global warming and that’s why we need to preserve and protect this place. Today’s experience made me wanting to make the garden at our house and to take care of it. Green is a beautiful color and its healthy for the environment." Davian