Our Background

Eco Children started life in 2004 as Children’s Eco Training, founded by Sandy Wilkes.

Our initial focus was on environmental education programmes offered to children of staff in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve who attended schools in the Acornhoek area. However, we realised that the need was much greater than anticipated and embarked on a number of projects to develop into the organisation it is today, working more broadly on whole school development with a focus on conservation and sustainability.

Children’s Eco Training changed to Eco Children in November 2015 to better reflect our broader remit.

Our Vision

Our Vision

To make a significant positive impact on education in our adopted primary schools in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces through whole school development, leading to better conservation and economic outcomes for South Africa.

Our Mission

Our Mission

To sow seeds of change, empowering the children in rural Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces by increasing their awareness of conservation; stimulating their desire to learn; improving their learning environment; improving the quality of their education; and providing opportunities for talented learners.

Our Model

Eco Children Model

Our principles

Our principles

Accountability – Eco Children is incorporated under section 21 Reg. No. 2007/012052/08 and is sanctioned by the South African Revenue Service as a Public Benefit Organisation, in terms of Section 18a if the Income Tax No. 930024822. We apply principles of good governance, complying with charitable regulations, undertaking annual audits and publishing annual reports.

We ensure our beneficiaries are also accountable: our adopted schools must take ownership of their projects; our bursary students must take responsibility for their academic performance.

Integrity – Eco Children’s reputation is its greatest asset and won’t be compromised. We know that we need to earn the trust of the communities in which we work, so we always do what we say we will do in order to gain and retain that trust.

Selectivity – we will only work with schools with Principals and educators that demonstrate leadership and that they will continue to care for and value the Eco Villages and school infrastructure, and are supportive of building capacity of educators.

Fun – we love to join in the fun with the kids at our adopted schools and to celebrate with them and the community at the completion of our projects.

Sustainability – our goal is long-term development and we strive to ensure all of our projects are sustainable and self-sustaining, not reliant on Eco Children’s ongoing support. Similarly our long-term goal is to build an organisation that generates its own income and is sustainable.