Community Development and Youth Access

The College continues to have a positive impact on the development of the youth in South Africa, opening doors for them through providing marketable skill sets in the context of conservation and the environment.

Successful conservation must include communities residing within or alongside areas of conservation. The role of communities in the management of natural resources is pivotal, and it must be understood that ‘community’ is not a homogenous whole, but a collective made up of individuals with varying interests and needs.

Our community department implements targeted, needs and context-driven programmes.

The Department is also the custodian of the Youth Access: Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Education Bridging Course, which was conceptualised in 2010 and is the only programme offered to school leavers to help bridge historically disadvantaged youth into the conservation sector.

The department offers a range of vocational training and skills development programmes. The skills programmes offered at the College are designed to be occupationally relevant and at the same time are composed of CATHSSETA registered credits which can be used towards a nationally recognised qualification. 

All the SAWC’s qualifications are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and made up of fundamental, core, and elective unit standards which are the building blocks of the qualification. Our learners achieve these qualifications through a combination of training sessions on the college campus and experiential learning in the workplace.

The RISE unit falls within the department and focuses on community-based natural resource management and good governance.

RISE works at various sites as a long-term partner in implementing context-driven community engagement programmes. RISE aims to both house and take the College’s Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) work forward. We currently support community programmes in Mozambique, Mpumalanga, and Kwa-Zulu Natal, looking at the wildlife economy,  targeted skills development, and environmental education, alongside CBNRM training/facilitation in communities.

Join our Youth and Community Development Programme

Visit the programme schedule for our Bridging Course aimed at school leavers interested in a career in conservation.


Supporting partners