Derrick Blaze Mashego 

Higher Certificate in Nature Conservation from the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Field Ranger working towards a Diploma in conservation 

“Through my job with Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, I have learned the importance of conserving our natural area, and now I dream of climbing higher within my organisation so that I can use my platform to educate my community about the environment and what it means to conserve it for future generations.” 

Derrick Mashego is a Field Ranger in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, one of South Africa’s most celebrated natural areas, rich in biodiversity and home to the third largest canyon in the world. Protecting the integrity of this wild space in an area that is at risk of human encroachment is a job of vital importance. As a Field Ranger, Derrick is responsible not only for patrolling the reserve and performing security checks, but he works to control alien plant invasion and erosion, collects data on biodiversity and generates reports, maintains the fences and infrastructure, and monitors safety aspects of the reserve.

Taking the next step in his career, Derrick enrolled at the Southern African Wildlife College where he is currently taking the Higher Certificate in Nature Conservation course, which will equip him with the knowledge and skills he needs to help conserve the Blyde Canyon Nature Reserve and will open up opportunities for him to go on and get his diploma.

Derrick can only complete his course with the help of generous donors contributing towards the R75 000 needed for his bursary. This is an amount that he does not have access to personally, which is why the SAWC as a non-profit organisation is calling upon a network of donors and supporters to help raise these funds. By donating any amount, large or small, you are playing a crucial role in helping Derrick receive the best possible training for his career in conservation.

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