The course is a collaboration between &Beyond Phinda and our community development partner, Africa Foundation. In essence, it’s a six-month, mentored journey of skill building, practical experience and learnings for five young conservationists from neighbouring communities.
The aim is to empower these young people with the hard skills and hands-on experience required to pursue a career in wildlife, conservation management, or in the tourism field as trackers or rangers.
Over the six months, students will cover four modules, namely:
• Research and monitoring
• Land management
• Wildlife management
• Field guiding & tourism
In addition to the certification they will receive on completion of the course, they will also have the opportunity to achieve a formal FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) Level 1 qualification.
The criteria for these students is very specific: they need to be unemployed, between 20–30 years old, come from the surrounding Mduku, Mnqobokazi, Nibela, KwaJobe or KwaNgwenya rural communities, with a clear interest in the areas of wildlife, environment or conservation.