Coaching Conservation is a wildlife conservation initiative with its core mission to Inspire Kids to Care and to be more empathetic towards wildlife and the struggles they face.
In July 2018, the SAWC’s Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Environment (RISE) team had the opportunity to initiate a working relationship with Coaching Conservation. Coaching Conservation (CC) is a wildlife conservation initiative with its core mission to Inspire Kids to Care and to be more empathetic towards wildlife and the struggles they face. It is based on two fundamental principles. Firstly, that one cannot value something until they know something about it, and secondly that, learning takes place best in an interactive and fun environment, delivered by great mentors. CC harnesses the power of sport and merges it with their Learning from Wildlife model, and the result is an impactful program.
The CC/SAWC relationship was further formalised in 2019 in the form of an agreement to engage in a long term mutually beneficial partnership that will help both organisations scale children’s education for sustainable development across southern Africa.
Coaching for Conservation (CC and SAWC came to the understanding that the CC programme is positioned to scale, however it requires additional support, skills and facilities to bring this to fruition. As such the SAWC expressed an interest in supporting this given its position to offer a number of resources that include:
The first objective was to collectively design, develop and institutionally accredit a train-the-trainer programme. By training new coaches, we will build local capacity, support a SAWC outreach program, provide new employment opportunities in vulnerable communities across the region and ultimately enable an increase in the reach from Coaching Conservation’s current delivery of approximately 4000 children per year.
In April 2019, Director Lesley McNutt and Program Coordinator Dr Hugh Webster from Coaching Conservation took part in a week long workshop with the academic team at the SAWC. The strategy agreed on was for the short course to take participants through all as aspects of the Coaching Conservation delivery including the theoretical background, knowledge of core ecology, ethology and education as well as provide the practical teaching experience. Upon completion, successful students will be accredited with a SAWC short course and graduate as competent Coaching Conservation coaches with the knowledge and enthusiasm required to deliver fun, informative lessons of the sort we pride ourselves on.
The process was completed in partnership with SAWC during the year on time and institutional accreditation was received in December of 2019. The first course was delivered in October of 2020.
The College in partnership with Coaching Conservation, and with underpinned financial and resource support provided by Investec Rhino Lifeline, were also able to implement and deliver the C4C programme in the villages near the College.
Under this agreement the SAWC was able to deliver a three-phased Coaching Conservation program. The first was a 6 week children’s programme with 280 Grade 5 learners at four primary schools within the Welverdiend – Hlavekisa region and this included a Bush day-overnight held on campus. Secondly, 273 Rapid Awareness Programmes (RAP’s) were delivered to Lumukisa, Sesete and Khokhovela primary schools. The third phase was the delivery of 122 Bush RAP’s to Grade 5’s from Beretta Primary. The sum of these interventions totaled 2194 interventions and reached 652 children. The Coaching Conservation initiative is ongoing and will be rolled out in other schools within local communities.
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Account number: 230118860
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