What We Do

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”

T.S. Eliot

National Geographic “Umsuka” Public Palaeoanthropology Project
Our Mission

The National Geographic “Umsuka” Public Palaeoanthropology Project (Nat Geo “Umsuka”), a public outreach programme of the African Digital Education Trust (ADET), is committed to the mission of increasing the accessibility of our common fossil hominin heritage for South Africans of diverse backgrounds in order to engage them with the past in ways that unite us in the present and help us to work towards a shared future.

Umsuka is the beginning, the place from which we start, from where we go forth. By exploring our common origins via the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (i.e., the Cradle, CoHWHS, or more formally, the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa), Gauteng, South Africa, our participants go forth in search of a greater understanding of where we all began and return to their individual communities with fresh eyes.

Through the joint efforts of National Geographic and the African Digital Education Trust (ADET) Umsuka strives to increase the sophistication of understanding in human evolutionary concepts and to stimulate interest in the field of palaeoanthropology in all South Africans, especially those from backgrounds that have been previously underrepresented in palaeoanthropology and who have been unable to access tertiary education.

We are continuously striving to:
  • Improve our ability to convey complex scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way;
  • Improve access to the Cradle of Humankind for underprivileged communities;
  • Connect people with our common heritage; and
  • Unite South Africans in our shared future.

Cradle Ambassador

An Ambassador is not a tour guide but represents the Cradle of Humankind community with pride, sharing what they know in order to nurture understanding in others.

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Grade 12 Life Sciences Teacher's Training

We appreciate that the subjects associated with the scientific study of human origins may sometimes be difficult to explain to students, so we would like to offer assistance.

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Guide Training

We offer four 50-minute modules to strengthen guide knowledge of human evolutionary concepts and the history of the Cradle of Humankind.

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Events with Community/Aligned Partners

Nat Geo “Umsuka” offers a popular “Cradle Discovery” speaker series with Westbury Youth Centre, including international and local scholarship on our past.

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How You Can Help NAT GEO

Umsuka needs your support in spreading the good word concerning important scientific discoveries in the Cradle of Humankind (and beyond) that bring us all a better understanding of our common origins so that we may unite in a shared future.

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