Southern African Wildlife College

Community Outreach

It has always been part of the College’s culture and a mission to engage with and work with local communities. At the outset, and during the construction phase of the College, local builders and thatchers were further trained and employed. Many of the SAWC staff were also drawn from the local community, a number of whom are still with the College today.

With support from the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, Managed by Nedbank Private Wealth, the SAWC has also been to establish an office dedicated to community related extension programmes. As such, the College has been giving support to local communities to engage them in better natural resource management and to choose wiser options to help conservation efforts. By raising conservation and environmental awareness through educational and cleaning campaigns, training workshops and participation in environmental and rhino day events, the College and the local communities are working hand in hand to ensure future sustainability.

With support from the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, managed by Nedbank Private Wealth, the SAWC has also been to establish an office dedicated to community related extension programmes. As such, the College has been giving support to local communities to engage them in better natural resource management and to choose wiser options to help conservation efforts.

By raising conservation and environmental awareness through educational and cleaning campaigns, training workshops and participation in environmental and rhino day events, the College and the local communities are working hand in hand to ensure future sustainability.

With visitors coming to the College; opportunities have also been created to establish and maintain mutual partnerships among various stakeholder that benefit local communities.

This pertains not only to natural resource management but also to socio-economic development such as the drilling and installation of boreholes in local primary schools, the painting of classrooms, the establishment of vegetable gardens, teachers’ environmental workshops and organising learner game drives to game parks and schools competitions. In addition, the College also contracts local cultural groups including dance groups and choirs from the Welverdiend Community to perform at special occasions held at the College.

WWF-SA/WESSA Eco Schools Programme

The College has adopted six primary schools to support them in affiliating and participating in the WWF-SA/WESSA Eco-School programme aimed at improving environmental management at the schools as well as environmental learning. One of the six schools has been awarded with a prestigious International Flag award for its continuous and consistent improvement of its environment and learning over the past five years. Other schools received Green flags and gold certificates. For further information please contact our Community Liaison Officer: Sboniso Phakathi at the College Tel: +27 (0)15 793 7303 or by emailing srphakathi@sawc.org.za

Bookmobile Project

As a way of generating a love for reading from a young age, the Resource Centre at the Southern African Wildlife College started a Bookmobile Project in 2012. The main goal of the project is to make books available to children from the local community who do not have access to reading material as there are no community libraries and most schools do not have a functional library.

The project started its humble beginnings in 2012 catering to one school using paper boxes to transport books. Generous donations from Biblionef and Exclusive books made it possible to expand the project, which then supplied three schools in the Welverdiend area with plastic boxes full of books in every classroom.

The SAWC’s Resource Centre is responsible for putting the book boxes together and delivering it to schools involved. Crates of books are dropped of at the start of each term and counted and checked twice before being picked up at the end of the term. Books then get repaired and swopped so that children always have something different to read.

In October 2015, after four successful years of the Bookmobile Project, a decision was made to help more schools by turning responsibility over to the current recipients and sourcing more books for community schools that do not have access to a library. Hundreds of books were thus handed over to Nxalati, Manyeleti, Mthembeni, and well as Shiviti Primary School’s to establish their own library collection.

The official launch of the project was held at the College. Guests included the Circuit Manager from the Department of Education who supports the project objectives as well as teachers from the schools who had been nominated to assist us with the project.

The books were the initial donation of the non-profit organization Biblionef, and the initiative was guided by the SAWC’s Resource Centre staff.

It is our hope that as the programme progresses we will be able to surpass our goal of achieving a child to book ratio of 1:1. Funding is also needed for the purchasing, maintenance, replacement of books, bookshelves as well as for transport costs.

The SAWC invites you to partner with us in bringing change in these children’s lives, one book at a time. 

For more information on the project or to make a donation

Sunel Lindeque
Academic Compliancy and Quality Management :: Manager
+27 (0)15 793-7315
slindeque@sawc.org.za

Photographic Outreach Programme

Wild Shots in association with the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) has started a really exciting Educational Outreach Programme. The programme is aimed at engaging disadvantaged young people with nature and conservation through photography. The focus is on government schools bordering the SAWC and the Greater Kruger Area; which in turn provides the perfect learning platform for these learners to really experience nature and wildlife at its best

The course being offered is very practical in nature and the sessions build the students’ knowledge from basic introduction of the camera to more advanced areas of photography. Wild Shots provides the photographic skills and know how, whilst the Wildlife College is helping to facilitate the trips and the open vehicle required whilst also imparting knowledge about conservation, wildlife and the bush.

Since the project’s inception in November 2015, the experience of these young people has been overwhelmingly positive. By teaching these students the basics of photography, then taking them to photograph in situ makes them more aware of their surroundings, exposes them to conservation and some of the challenges faced as well as providing them with a greater appreciation and value of wildlife, especially threated species such as the rhino.

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The photographic skills that these school children also acquire not only provide valuable lifelong skills but also raise their aspirations. It is hoped that some of these children will progress and either enroll in some of the training programmes offered by the Wildlife College or become photographic guides should they be assisted in honing their skills to that level. All of them will certainly be richer from the experience gained.

To provide further impetus and provide some “kudos” to these budding photographers, Wild Shots in association with the Wildlife College is planning it’s a series of exhibitions to “publish” the students’ images and some of their stories.

For more information on this outreach programme contact:

Jeanné Poultney
Executive Management :: Marketing and Fundraising
+27 (0)11 704-4386
jpoulntey@sawc.org.za
 
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