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When corporates pay it forward, long-lasting ties are forged

When corporates pay it forward, long-lasting ties are forged

"We resonate with Good Work Foundation because they do good work – and that’s what we want to do as well." These are the words of Laetitia Coetzer, chief human resources and development officer at Konica Minolta South Africa, which is one of Good Work Foundation's most treasured and committed sponsors.

Both she and Konica Minolta South Africa are passionate about the wildlife economy, and she says the benefits of a corporate partnering with a like-minded non-profit are many – for both parties.

Laetitia has just returned from yet another of her regular outings to the GWF campuses in Mpumalanga, taking members of her team along to “stand under the tree [the digital tree of knowledge on the Hazyview campus] and feel the incredible vibe”.

Konica Minolta South Africa plays a major role in supporting GWF’s Conservation and IT academies, as a brand that is passionate about the wildlife economy as well as invested in the ICT space from a business perspective.

Konica Minolta SA team visit GWF Huntington Digital Learning Campus

“We wanted to help rural Mpumalanga people be part of the economy of wildlife, so they can feed that knowledge back into their own communities,” she explains.

“So we started with the kids’ programme in the Open Learning Academy, where children learn about conservation using tablets, and then we have a Field Guides Association of Southern Africa learnership for young adults in the Conservation Academy.”

Laeticia says beyond ticking boxes on an empowerment scorecard, it’s beneficial for corporates to get involved with non-profits like GWF “because it’s important to do the right thing for the right reason.

"To show our involvement in communities where we have branches and where we operate holds value for us, because it shows our caring side, our empathy.”

Conservation students game reserves practical training

One of the fruits of Konica Minolta’s sponsorship that warms Laeticia’s heart is the growth and development of Sibusiso Mnisi, who is today GWF’s Conservation Academy coordinator thanks to his GWF training and the organisation’s support.

“I’ve got a soft spot for Sibs, and always make time to catch up with him when I visit. He’s as humble as the day that he started there, and he’s growing into such a role model for his community.”

She jokes that because she is also passionate about conservation, the bush and the great outdoors, she refuses to hand over responsibility for GWF to anyone else in the organisation. “It’s my project and I’m not letting it go – I’m clinging to it with all my might! We can learn so much from nature.”

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