Our Ambassadors

The Southern African Wildlife College recently launched its “Champions” P2P campaign and is embarking on an Ambassador campaign with long standing supporters of the College. These supporters of the College, are part of our success story. In many ways they continue to engage in various activities aimed at supporting the SAWC and raising funds to enable the College to continue doing the work it does.

These selected individuals have a passion for wildlife, conservation education, training and skills development. In doing so, they fly the College flag for us and assist in briefing their networks, the media and potential partners and donors about the College and how they can get involved.

They add value and impact the conservation sector, whilst ensuring that we all put nature at the centre of our thinking to ensure we achieve a nature-positive world. Their work will help to support our mission and the importance of training protected area managers and conservationist to safeguard Africa’s wildlife and natural resources for future generations.

Ivan Carter

Ivan is firmly committed to ensuring “more wildlife in healthier ecosystems”. Personally, and through the Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance, he has garnered tremendous support for the College, which is one of four projects the Alliance supports in its endeavour to make a difference to the very front line of conservation. As an anchor donor to the College, the alliance has helped keep the College operational, especially during the last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and impacted the College’s training.  Personally Ivan has helped drive the success of the College’s K9 unit by hosting fundraisers in the USA and introducing the College to Joe Braman. This introduction saw the College introducing two packs of intrepid hounds from Texas to the team. This has bolstered the College’s training of free-running dogs, which has massively impacted the success of counter poaching operations in the greater Kruger.

Ivan Carter and Theresa Sowry

Charly Gräff, Christoph and Bettina Weber

From left to right: HRH Prince Harry, Niles Meyer (KFW), Durcesio Mello (Jetstart Aviation) and Charly Gräff .

Christoph and Bettina Weber (first and third from left) with Jeanné Poultney and Theresa Sowry.

Another Ambassador is Charly Gräff, who first became a donor to the College and subsequently introduced the College to Christoph and Bettina Weber in 2010. The couple fell in love with Africa and with the College and went on to establish Zürich-based Friends of African Wildlife in support of the work being done in Africa to ensure the survival of Africa’s wildlife. In helping to develop the Foundation’s slogan – Be Part of It – Charly captured the essence of what Friends of African Wildlife is all about. Many donors to Friends of African Wildlife, also an anchor donor to the College, have visited the College and have met with its staff and its students, whilst participating in projects such as the tagging and DNA sampling of rhino. They have also taken many a flip with our air wing, taking in the sights and sounds of Africa from the air. Graduation of our natural resource management students is also a time of real celebration, with Friends of African Wildlife being the biggest supporter of our “Adopt-a-Student Learner Legacy” campaign. Their cross cutting support, both as Trustees of Friends of African Wildlife and personally, has also see many a school leaver from our local communities fledge into a career in conservation having completed our Youth Access Bridging Programme.

Jo Devenish

Jo first approached the College when she decided to raise awareness on the plight of the rhino. In doing so she decided to embark on an expedition to complete the Pacific Crest trail which stretches from the Mexican border, near the small town of Campo in Southern California; to Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The trail covers 2,650 miles or 4265 kilometres. Jo exciting and arduous journey began on 27 April and she arrived at PCT monument, which signified the end of her journey on 30 September 2017. The route travels through 25 national forests and seven national Parks, most of it through protected wilderness area. It traverses scenic and pristine desert areas and mountain ranges in California, including the Sierra Nevada Range; and the volcanic Cascade Range in California, Oregon and Washington States

Despite the many challenges faced on her journey Jo completed the hike which not only raised awareness on the plight of rhino but she also raised much-needed funds to assist with the College’s anti-poaching training and to help care for orphaned rhinos to allow these animals to continue to survive despite all the odds.

Her love of wildlife and wild places, seeking out adventures sometimes filled with solitude and adrenaline is what drives her overwhelming need to try and help preserve our endangered species and wildlife.

Sawc - airwing

We look forward to featuring all our Ambassadors shortly, and thank each and every one of them for the commitment shown to conservation and to the Southern African Wildlife College.