GEF 6 – Leading Heart ‘A class of distinction’

By Sboniso Phakathi – Project Leader: Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Environment (RISE)

The GEF 6 Project has an overall goal – to strengthen institutions and targeted communities to improve decision-making and reduce the rate of illegal wildlife trade in South Africa.

In order to respond to capacity development needs within the project, a series of programmes have been developed. These are in support of leadership and governance capacity development within community structures and conservation organisations. They will be rolled out in the 3rd quarter of 2022 into 2023. 

The programmes include:

  • Leading Heart – Introduction to leadership in communities 
  • Governing Heart 1 – Introduction to governance in communities 
  • Governing Heart 2 – Working with communities 
  • Growing Heart 1 – Engagement and peacebuilding in communities 
  • Growing Heart 2 – Responsible resource management

From 15 to 18 August, the SAWC hosted a four-day training session on the leading heart material: “Introduction to leadership in communities”. A total of 16 participants from partner organisations namely: WWF Khetha, Conservation South Africa, Makuleke Contractual Park, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, Sabie Sands Wildtuin, Kruger National Park, and the GEF 6 stewardship supervisors participated in this training. 

This training was attended by frontline staff and was linked to strengthening the participant’s capacity for leadership and making informed decisions in their community engagement process. This training was critical in that it set the tone for upcoming programmes to be rolled out in the last quarter of 2022. The sessions were interactive and participatory, and the facilitation skills of Elna de Beer, the College’s Technical Associate, ensured that all participants were fully engaged. 

The most affirming outcome, in terms of learner assessments, was that all 16 participants were declared competent, with the group collectively achieving an average of 80%.

Congratulations to all the attendees! We look forward to you returning for our Governing Heart programme.