Earlier this year SAWC entered into a relationship with the WILD TRUST (formerly known as Wild Lands). This agreement saw the College joined by fifteen new faces as part of a collaboration with WildTrust through the Nedbank sponsored YES (Youth Employment Service) Programme.
Five of these interns were placed with the RISE unit, and have made a very important contribution to the Unit’s field operations.
Precious Ndlovu, Goodwill Seepane, Lydia Sifunda, Verrah Ndhlozi, and Priscilla Malamule (later replaced by Ponagatso Mogakane) have over the previous quarter been involved in assisting Parker Banas (Michigan State University) with data collection in the Mnisi Villages, for his Masters research project titled ‘Exploring local perceptions on the causes and consequences of environmental insecurity/security’.
This undertaking first saw them receiving IRB training to ensure that their support is conducted in a responsible and ethical manner, given that they were working with human subjects. They also for the first time used handheld data collection devices, a skill to now be used on the unit’s new projects!
In supporting further capacity development, the group undertook NQF level 5 accredited training in: Facilitating Conservation Understanding (Environmental Education). These interns along with the broader YES intern group also partook in unaccredited training presented by Nedbank in Consumer Education, which proved to be useful as some of these youths are employed for the first time.
The group have also been paying it forward through their placement with schools, here they have been assisting in presenting lessons in environmental education, support with examination prep and where possible, they acted as support educators.