Helderberg environmental & education project


Young people and learners in South Africa who live in disadvantaged areas have few opportunities to experience first hand South Africa’s rich environmental diversity.

In addition, many primary schools and secondary schools do not have the funds to ensure learners obtain vital practical knowledge relevant to the biology, science and geography elements of the formal school curriculum.

Supporting Access to the Helderberg Environmental Education and Resource Centre

The Helderberg Nature Reserve, situated outside Cape Town, is maintained by the Cape Town Municipality and a volunteer organization, the Friends of the Helderberg.

This organisation has established an Environmental Education and Resource Center (EEC) run by a paid education officer and volunteers.

Funding is principally through donations and also from proceeds of a small shop run by volunteers and from course fees charged to those who can afford to pay.



The EEC runs one-day courses for primary and secondary school children in the Helderberg Municipal area. Courses are aimed at introducing children to the ecology, flora, and fauna in the reserve, in addition to wide ranging conservation issues such as recycling and water conservation.

These courses provide important practical elements to the school curriculum.

The Helderberg Environmental and Education Project (HEEP) was launched in 2000 by the EEC with the aim of obtaining sponsorship for children who would otherwise be unable to attend EEC courses.

Through donations received, HEEP provides:

  • Transport for children from disadvantaged areas to and from the EEC.
  • Courses for children from disadvantaged areas free of charge, which include talks and slide shows on various topics such as nature conservation, environmental awareness, ecology, wetlands, birds, and guided walks in the nature reserve.

As and when funds become available selected schools in the area are contacted and arrangements are made to bus children to and from the center. Each bus (i.e. each course) carries about 50 children.

The average total cost of each course, including bus hire, amounts to R2 300.00. (exchange rate www.xe.com).

Over 600 children a year, who would not otherwise have been able to attend, now benefit from these courses, gaining vital practical lessons complementing classroom based learning.

CUF has contributed towards this program since 2005, increasing our contribution over the years from R1000.00 per month to R2300.00 per month in 2019. (exchange rate www.xe.com)