Dear friends of the College,
Where have the last three months gone? One minute we were getting out our mid-year reports and now, in what feels like a blink of an eye, we are in the final quarter of the year.
Much happened in the third quarter:
Our flagship students – who are normally with us until end November/early December each year – finished off their contact sessions and exams to head home for their Work Integrated Learning block of applied study.
Sadly, as was the case last year we will not be hosting our graduation dinner and ceremony, an event that the students, student organisations, donors and the staff, as well as other guests, so look forward to each year. Apart from social distancing requirements, the primary reason is that these students did not return home in the middle of the year to complete their Work Integrated Learning assignments, which they will now only be doing back in their workplaces during the third semester block.
As COVID-19 regulations have changed, so too has the College had to adapt. Here kudos must go to the College staff across the board and to the students for being able to adjust as needed. Their willingness to get the job done is commendable whether it be the wrapping of individual meals for delivery, ensuring that social distancing rules and other COVID-19 rules are observed, that sanitization stations are consistently topped up, not enjoying social times with your fellow students, with some staff being on a three-day week due to our enforced and reduced student capacity. Huge effort has also gone into developing online modules and programmes and in facilitating an agreed vaccination policy and programme.
Despite this, this doesn’t away from the exciting work that the College is involved in. Things that spring to mind are the GEF6 project, the relocation of cheetahs in association with the Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance, the Herding for Health project with support from Investec, our rhino dehorning project, the continued development of our innovation and technology hub as well as SMART and EarthRanger training. Then there is the web-based training needs analysis tool being developed, the OH ELEPHANT project, and our reconfigured Youth Access Bridging Programme sponsored by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust (Managed by Nedbank Private Wealth), Friends of African Wildlife and Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Trust. New courses developed include Braveheart and our Human Rights field ranger training, our online Light Sports Aircraft Pilot’s theory course, as well as the collaborative online trans-frontier conservation management short course with materials developed in English, French and Portuguese.
So despite all the obstacles, we are buoyed by the work we are involved in, by the kindred spirits of staff, by the resilience and creative thinking that abounds and by our students who continue to surprise us. Thank you again to each and every one of you for your support, without our donors, supporters and partners, our continued work would not be possible.
Thanks for reading,
Executive Manager – Marketing, Fundraising and Media Relations