GWF’s First bizhub Conservation Academy Graduates Leave Tracks for More Rural Youth to Follow!

Good Work Foundation (GWF) has added the first graduation of its pioneering bizhub Conservation Academy to its list of 2016 achievements funded by Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA). With the support of our team, five young adults from rural Mpumalanga, who weren’t previously able to access higher education opportunities, successfully completed the brand new six-month programme, equipping them with skills that will allow them to become employed in the conservation sector.

Each of the students, two men and three women, completed their Field Guide Association of South Africa, or FGASA, level one theory component, advanced computer courses, with a focus on excel for the purposes of data collection, and an unbelievable two-week experience volunteering and learning at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary under the guidance of South African rhino rehabilitation expert, Petronel Nieuwoudt.

We are extremely excited to share with our readers that two of the graduates have already found employment. Both are working in secret locations on the front lines of South Africa’s rhino anti-poaching units.

We have also  created an accessible learning programme for rural, unemployed South Africans and have, via that programme, created two heroes who are protecting our country’s most endangered species.

Three years ago we said: “Yes we want to save rhinos, but we also want to find ways to engage with rural youth and allow them access to the economy of wildlife.”

The bizhub Conservation Academy was our way of getting to that vision, and, together with KMSA, we are incredibly proud to have created five young people who have real, transferable skills and more than that, a love for the natural world.

For us as an organisation this is huge!

At the graduation event, KMSA’s Special Projects Manager, Laetitia Coetzer said it best: “The vision for the bizhub Conservation Academy is to develop a ‘new equation in conservation’, where it is not just about saving animals, it is about activating communities and empowering people.”

A second group of students is now enrolled in the bizhub Conservation Academy and this year we look forward to sharing moments from their journey with you, as well as updates on how these young people are accessing the economy of wildlife.

Watch this space!

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KMSA’s Special Projects Manager, Laetitia Coetzer said it best: “The vision for the bizhub Conservation Academy is to develop a ‘new equation in conservation’, where it is not just about saving animals, it is about activating communities and empowering people.”

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One of the bizhub Conservation Academy Graduates, Ntsako Milazi being capped.

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The bizhub Conservation Academy graduates with KMSA’s Leatitia Coetzer, Hazyview Conservation Coordinator Byron Ross and Conservation Academy Facilitator Sibusiso Mnisi under the digital tree of knowledge.

Written by Hazyview Media Academy.

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