On the 27th of October, the Timbavati Foundation co-hosted a Careers in Conservation careers day at Mahlale High School in Welverdient, a small village on the outskirts of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Vusi and Chris went along as the Tanda Tula Representatives, they helped to show our support of this incredibly important initiative by showcasing our lodges and the many career paths within the ecotourism space.
It is vital to bridge the gap between protected areas and communities to maintain and protect our natural heritage. An educated, well-informed community could serve as the front-line protection of the protected areas they border.
Nelson Mandela once said: “education is the most important tool that can change the world”. Communities need to be educated about the importance of being involved in the decision-making of protected areas, and by so doing reduce the barriers that exist as well as allow sufficient access to these iconic places.
Careers in Conservation, a YouTube series, which is produced in the local language of Xitsonga, aims to expose youth along the Greater Kruger region to career opportunities that they could venture into within the protected areas around them.
It highlights local heroes and role models within the field of conservation to whom youth could look up for inspiration. Even better, it provides the youth access to those role models through school engagement activities and excursions.
To be truly successful in its mission, Careers in Conservation Expo and Fun day is a day that allows learners of the GCC’s future rangers’ program as well as the Timbavati Foundation Focus High Schools, to get up close and personal with conservation leaders and professionals tn the industry and so further fuel their inspiration to pursue a Career in Conservation. The event does so in a way designed to hook and provoke learners’ sense of love and care for wildlife and the environment.
There were incredibly about 500 community and school learners present on the day of this event. We felt that it was a huge privilege to be there and help inspire these young people and hopefully create further awareness around the importance of conservation and at the same time showcase the many job opportunities that lie in the lodge industry.