Wilderness Foundation Africa works from its base in South Africa to protect and sustain wildlife and wilderness through integrated conservation and education programmes. Whether it is direct action anti-poaching in the field, large landscape wilderness management, or developing rising young leaders from disadvantaged communities for a career in conservation, the Wilderness Foundation has over 45 years of results.
In July 2017, 11 young people from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, were brought to South Africa for a life-changing wilderness experience as part of the Wild Rhino Campaign. After the trail, the youth visited a rhino orphanage and also had the opportunity to learn more from leading wildlife crime, rhino veterinary and rhino protection experts during a full day workshop at the Wilderness Leadership School in Durban. The young people were deeply touched by what they saw and learnt, and have returned to Vietnam as Rhino Ambassadors – committed to making a difference in changing the hearts and minds of their communities.
Miselwa Nogqala, Catering events manager and Siyazenzela Facilitator of Wilderness Foundation Africa, recently received the exciting news that she was chosen on the AVP International Scholarship to attend the 2017 AVP World Gathering in Nepal, November 5-11 2017.
Every year, Haberdashers UK funds a group of students to visit South Africa after they have completed their last year of school. The students visit for a period of 2 weeks, where they get to experience our beautiful country and do some voluntary work. As part of their visit, they attend a 5 day wilderness trail in the Imfolozi Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal. Haberdashers kindly sponsor a few of Wilderness Foundation Africa’s Umzi Wethu students to join them on trail each year.
In order to select the Umzi Wethu students who will attend this wilderness trail, our full group of students are asked to write a motivational essay on why they should be given the opportunity to go on the 5 day trail.
Our Youth Development Programmes: Siyazenzela and Umzi Wethu are focused on teaching core skills in the hospitality industry which will later on assist our students in finding jobs.
We recently caught up with two graduates, Vuyolwethu Mfini and Phumeza, for a quick interview to find out what life after Umzi Wethu and Siyazenzela was like.
“I am from a small town called Paterson. I lived on a farm and felt very isolated living there. I heard many stories about this beautiful place called Port Elizabeth and I wanted to explore life. It was very difficult for a person like me to move and follow my dreams. I was scared and I didn’t know where to start but I decided I will go for it, as I wanted change not only for myself but for the next generation of my family. I didn’t want my cousins growing up like me, isolated in Paterson. I wanted them to be able to know they could come visit me in Port Elizabeth and that there was more to life outside of Paterson. I wanted to become more independent and explore life. I trusted that if God made plans for me, I would move.