The College, through the RISE unit partnered with the Global Conservation Corps (GCC) early in 2020 for the delivery of GCC’s Future Rangers Programme as a pilot programme to Grade 8 students of two strategic high schools within the SAWC’s core area of community influence.

This project is the pilot phase of bringing consistent conservation education into high schools bordering the Kruger National Park area, and to bridge the gap between primary school conservation education and the emerging workforce of matriculated youth. The goals of this partnership are to: a) deliver consistent (weekly) conservation lessons to grade 8 classes, b) to measure the impact of this programme through monitoring and evaluation, c) use the Future Rangers App to create portfolios of evidence for individual learners, and d) to hone the process of scaling this programme to other conservation areas.

The Global Conservation Corps was founded in 2015 by an old friend to the College, Matt Lindenberg as a US-based nonprofit organization, which focuses on African-specific conservation. GCC’s primary mission is to conserve wildlife by bridging the gap between local communities and conservation. Its founding core belief is that only with the support, buy-in and inclusion of communities surrounding conservation areas, can these natural areas endure well into the future. GCC’s approach has invested in both short and long-term solutions; namely equipping and supporting the field rangers of today, while identifying, inspiring and equipping the future leaders of tomorrow with the adequate training, skills and opportunities to meaningfully contribute to conservation. Over the last three years, GCC has been developing the Future Rangers Programme which integrates within the South African schooling system to develop, inspire and equip the next generation of African conservationists…and this is where GCC and SAWC meet.

In late February the College was able to host GCC as they held the inception workshop with the high school educators, school principals, teachers and mentors. In this workshop the participants had the chance to interact with the comprehensive, colourful, CAPS aligned and engaging teacher support guide, which will be used in classrooms and out in the field/ extended classroom.   We look to this relationship with much excitement, at the opportunity of partnering on an innovative step to engaging learners in education for sustainable development.