Community and Youth Dept Update – Dec 2022

Equipped with a vision of educating and empowering next generation of environmental protectors and leaders, the Community and Youth Development (CYD) department had a successful 2022 when it managed the implementation the Advanced Certificate Trans-Frontier Conservation Management (TFCA) which will make way for the three-year Diploma offering, the Natural Resource Management, Terrestrial, the conservation Bridging Programme, Basic Infrastructure Maintenance and several community-based programmes.  

The department embarked on a mission to deliver inclusive, accessible, and effective programmes that act as a gateway into conservation while embracing the College’s most preached applied learning model. Most of the programmes offered in 2022 demonstrated the applied learning methodology from the Bridging Course all the way to the Advanced Certificate. Conservation organisations from Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe supported the departments’ initiatives by sending their employees to the College, a Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Centre of Excellence, to benefit from the training initiatives offered over the year. A total of 75 students received accredited and formal training through the department between January and December in 2022. The students had contact as well as practical training at the College and were also deployed to various workplaces to apply skills and knowledge gained at the College. In order to maintain contact and also make sure that the training remain relevant to conservations within the industry, collaborative trips were conducted within SADC. The departmental staff met both students and their employers so that challenges and proposed changes are discussed by all relevant stakeholders.   

The department was delighted when different organisations such as African Parks, Kasanka Trust of Zambia, SANParks, Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency, Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency, Namibia’s Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Tourism, Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, (LEDET) Zimbabwe’s Wamafari Emclave trusted the department with their employees’ future development plans. The organisations made sure their employees had opportunities to get conservation skills at the College through the Community and Youth Development department.  

The programmes in the department are aimed at addressing needs based on current challenges which embrace people planet and prosperity (economics). The department also recruited 10 Community members from the Makuleke Property Association. The Community members were trained in Basic Infrastructure Maintenance. The skills they got in the programme will help them maintain facilities or construct picnic tables for example that they can sell. The Bridging Programme includes the foundational learning competency, field ranger training, conservation security and the responsible resource use module as well as deployment to LEDET so that they can apply what was learnt on the course.  

Next year in 2023 the SAWC will be offering a consecutive sequence of institutionally accredited short courses. On successful completion, these short courses will allow the student to progress, via Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT), onto the planned Diploma programme. These short courses may be a good option for students looking to further their studies, not only onto the pending three-year Diploma, but also for those looking for targeted skills development.  

The short courses for next year are listed below: 

  • Data Management & Technology for Conservation 
  • Introduction Biological Systems 
  • Conservation & Social Systems 
  • Holistic Development Planning 
  • Business Administration for Conservation 
  • Environment & Resource Management 

To highlight the implemented programmes in 2022, the Community and Youth Development department successfully implemented two graduations on 30 November and 1 December that has been reported in different media. Various organisations and donors such as Friends of African Wildlife, KfW Stiftung, Fondation Segré, Tusk Trust, the Southern African Wildlife College Trust, Investec Rhino Lifeline, Chamberlain Foundation, Ball Family Foundation, Wamafari Emclave, Conserv Earth, Metamorphosis Foundation, and Peace Parks Foundation are thanked for their endless support that helped the department to achieve its vision and mission in support of the College’s overall objectives. Below are some visuals from different training programmes in 2022.