Coaching for Conservation goes from strength to strength

In the previous quarter, the unit expressed an interest in hosting and implementing the Coaching for Conservation (C4C) six week, grade five programme. In July this wish became a reality through a partnership with C4C and Investec Financial Services (Corporate Social Investment division). This partnership is in full swing with the six week programme now being implemented with six local Primary schools namely: Mtembeni, Mahlekisana, Mchuchi, Welverdiend, Funjwa and Lumukisa.

The 280 recipient school children have all been fully equipped with C4C gear (T-shirts, caps, water bottles, string bags, and fun activity books) and now receiving weekly, highly interactive lessons linking football, life skills and wildlife, all facilitated by our 12 passionate coaches and mentors!

The high spirited cheers of: respect yourself, respect each-other, respect your environment! are complimented by the happy and zealous youth dribbling the ball with the ‘speed’ of a cheetah or defending the goal with the ‘might and determination’ of the rhino or demonstrating ‘teamwork and cooperation’ like a pride of lions.

Following the four week schools’ engagement, each school group will be hosted at the College for night programmes where they will take part in Rapid Awareness(RAP) programmes presented by animal behavioural experts. They will also go on educational game drives and enjoy activities such as night cinema, stargazing and all round fun whilst learning about all our conservation treasures.

The SAWC-C4C relationship was bolstered with a grant received through the National Geographic Society to conduct a situational analysis in the iconic Gorongosa National Park in Sofala Province, Mozambique. Given the nature of the programme the demand of programme for export into other conservation areas, who interact with their local schools is growing.

The College is also happy to share that the unit is also collaborating with the C4C team, led by Dr Hugh Webster and Ashwell Glasson in the development of a ‘train the trainer’ toolkit for the C4C programme.

Once completed this undertaking will produce manuals and a training tool kit to enable the programme to have further reach, with well-trained coaches and mentors. This programme continues under the leadership of Professor Mtungwa, supported by the five YES interns, Zanele Mathonsi, Thabisile Sibuyi, Fanuel Nleya, Freddy Nukeri, and Peace Mogakane, all employees of the College.