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“A nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

Theodore Roosevelt

LAPALALA WILDERNESS SCHOOL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME As a country South Africa is virtually unrivalled in biodiversity and natural splendour. It is the site of a world biodiversity hotspot with the Cape Floristic region (popularly known as the fynbos) of which table Mountain National Park forms part. there is also the Namaqualand region with its dazzling floral displays, the Karoo with its huge diversity of succulents, the high elevation grasslands and of course the savannah with its charismatic animals such as elephants, lions, rhinos and buffaloes. South Africa also has a long coastline which straddles two oceans and along which one can observe whales, dolphins and various sharks, not to mention the biodiversity underwater. the conservation of all this biodiversity has a long history and the country can boast some huge successes, the most famous of which is probably the rescue of the white rhino from virtual extinction. however, conservation of all this biodiversity is also an enormous responsibility for a country like South Africa, which has many other concerns to deal with, such as a high unemployment rate, a widening gap between the rich and the poor and an education system which has is still far below acceptable international standards. Although there are still many conservation professionals in South Africa, there is unfortunately insufficient capacity to counter the environmental degradation which impacts on large parts of the country.

At Lapalala wilderness School we believe in environmental education as a solution to our environmental challenges. we try to make a difference by promoting an appreciation and respect for the extraordinary diversity of Africa’s natural world and developing and encouraging a passion and commitment to conserve nature and ecological processes.

Youth DeVeLoPMeNt ProGrAMMe It is the intention of Lapalala wilderness School to educate youth from our rural areas about sustainable living and provide a few selected individuals with an opportunity to pursue a career in conservation. the three focal groups for this programme are: • School Learners • Out-of-School Unemployed Youths • Tertiary Students through the provision of development programmes and bursaries we hope to provide the identified youth with a foundation to grow and from which they can develop to become productive and important parts of the challenge we face.

our APProACh Our in-house courses, our Eco-Schools programme and our strong links with the communities surrounding us enable us to identify those youths that are passionate about the environment. we distinguish three groups which we support in different ways: • School learners: Lapalala wilderness School hosts approximately 2,000 learners from local communities annually for environmental education programmes. In addition, our outreach programme supports 31 Eco-Schools. In our Youth Development Programme we aim to develop 10-20 children every 2nd year through outings to conservation areas with well-recognised conservationists, in turn aiding them to develop a passion for the outdoors. • Out-of-school unemployed youth: the current youth unemployment rate in South Africa is close to 40%. LwS aims to target two unemployed youths annually to serve a 12-month learnership at Lapalala as a stepping stone to a career in conservation. • Tertiary students: Many students are barely able to carry the costs of their tuition. through bursaries and internships LwS aims to provide opportunities to students to further their studies, positioning them better to fill senior management positions.

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Future Growth We hope that through the efforts of LWS there is a significant increase in environmental consciousness and that this has a knock-on effect with more and more interest and growth of people in this field. We do, however, depend on donations and sponsorships to sustain this valuable initiative. If you value our work and would like to contribute to our activities, please contact us. Regristration Registered with the Department of Social Development as a non-profit organisation (049-470 NPO). Registered with SARS as a Public Benefits Organisation (PBO 930024138). Contac t (+27) 082Â 887 3912 PO Box 348, Vaalwater, 0530, RSA

Youth Development Programme  

The moulding of South Africa's future conservation champs!