Oepsie the Ostrich, made by a 10-year-old Rustenburg boy, Dohann Schoonbee from Deutsche Schule Kroondal, has been on the road for over a year. He has assisted the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and the Wrigley Litter Less Campaign in South Africa to promote a cleaner, greener and healthier environment.
At the Eco-Schools National Operators' Meeting (NOM), with over 60 country representatives participating in the Eco-Schools programme, Oepsie was offered and accepted the opportunity to spread his message to Spain. Oepsie has raised our awareness that burning plastic and tyres causes asthma and cancer and has shown that we can do creative and fun things with waste to beautify our surroundings or possibly to sell. For example, Temogo Special School obtains old linen from tourist establishments and makes these into bags or cushion covers and then paints floral motifs.
Oepsie has encouraged three schools to start herb gardens and these have been used to make a type of Zambuc and to bake rolls and biscuits. Broken mirror and tiles that were found in the bush have been re used. Scarecrows, pallet swings, bottle top wall murals, educational toys for pre-schoolers, birdfeeders and T-shirts from shopping bags are other items that have been made from waste. Tyres are being used as borders, planters, tables and chairs, an earthworm farm and to make see-saws for pre-schoolers.
Currently three schools have earthworm farms and 15 schools have food gardens. Oepsie also started a recycling swop shop which has been a success with the two participating schools choosing the option to receive washable sanitary pads rather than stationary. To date 56 girls have earned themselves packs and we hope that this will assist them in feeling confident to attend school during their monthly cycle.