By: Gerhard, Miemie and Daantjie Snyman
For the past few years Minuteman Press Hatfield has been printing brochures for the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre at the world renowned De Wildt cheetah farm outside Pretoria, South Africa. (www.dewildt.co.za)
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre was established in 1971, as a cheetah breeding programme. Over the past 40 years the Centre has bred over 800 cheetah cubs, most of whom have been successfully placed back in the wild. In 2003 the Centre initiated an education programme which since has been experienced by over 50 000 children in schools. Since the prime focus of the programme is of an outreach nature, CHEETA (Community Help Enviro–Education through Animals) was registered as an NPO in 2010 (see www.cheeta.org.za)
Rita Groenewald and Wessie de Koker prepare to help Yeats exit his transport upon arrival at the Snyman’s Minuteman Press Centre.
The idea is to use the cheetah as a symbol of survival and sustainability and to teach young people about overcoming challenges and being catalysts in their communities for the preservation of natural resources and the improvement of their own lives.
An important part of this programme is corporate and school visits where a cheetah ambassador is taken to the venues to play the central role in the educational talk to the audience.
Minuteman Press Hatfield received a request to quote on the printing of 1000 brochures to promote the education programme and it so happened that it was quote number 100 000 done by this shop. (If one quote takes an average of 2 minutes, then the owners Gerhard, Miemie and Daantjie Snyman spent 3333 hours, or 417 working days of 8 hours each, or 83 weeks, or 1.6 years in front of their computers to do these quotes.)
To mark this milestone Minuteman Press Hatfield decided to sponsor the printing of the brochures and asked for a photo opportunity when handing over the job to the customer. What they were not aware of was that the training of a new cheetah ambassador, named Yeats, commenced early in 2012. So when a visit by Yeats to the Minuteman Press Hatfield premises (as part of his training) was offered, it was welcomed with great enthusiasm and excitement.
On 5 April Yeats and his handlers, Rita Groenewald and Wessie de Koker, arrived and after a short talk all staff members had the opportunity to touch Yeats and have pictures taken. It was such a privilege to have this aristocratic animal in the store and make a small contribution to the CHEETA Education Programme!
Gerhard, Miemie and Daantjie Snyman, from left, stroke Yeats as his handlers keep alert.
Shown above is all of the staff enjoying a once in a lifetime experience with a real live Cheetah.
His job done for now, Yeats prepares to be chauffeured home; after having said his goodbyes.