A rural skills development project funded by the Amarula Trust has seen eight Namibians completing a Level 1 Field Guide training course aimed at creating jobs in the eco-tourism industry.
This is the second group sponsored by the not-for-profit Amarula Trust, to complete the course at Erindi Private Game Reserve and Wilderness Safari’s Damaraland Adventure Camp.
The Amarula Field Guide Scholarship Programme, accredited by the Field Guide Association of South Africa, is a one-month intensive course which assists people, already in the tourism industry to further their careers and on successful completion graduate as field guides for tourists.
The Level 1 Field Guide training course is presented by Eco Training and includes an introduction to botany, ecology, zoology, reptiles, birds, geology, as well as tracking, conservation and habitat management, intended to advance eco-sustainability and provide critical employment skills.
The students were chosen from the N/a’ankusê Lodge, Wilderness Safari-Tora, Sesfontein Conservancy and Erindi Private Game Reserve, who demonstrated not only a desire to improve themselves through education but who also have an interest in tourism, wildlife and nature conservation. The group includes rural community members as well as those who were employed as waiters, workshop assistants, security and bartenders at these establishments. After successful completion of the course they will be integrated back into their respective environments with a view to operate as qualified field guides.
Adéle Ankiewicz, Amarula global marketing manager and spokesperson for the Amarula Trust, says the programme aims to preserve nature and wildlife, while creating employment.
|Fast facts: Field Guides|
|The 8 Namibian’s qualify with||Level 1 Field Guide training course|
|The course is presented by||Eco Training and includes an introduction to botany, ecology, zoology, reptiles, birds, geology, as well as tracking, conservation and habitat management|
|Where did they complete the course||Erindi Private Game Reserve and Wilderness Safari’s Damaraland Adventure Camp|
“When these students return to their establishments they will be employed as field guides, opening up new job opportunities for those who fill their vacancies, thus further developing local employment.”
She adds that the programme also aims to establish symbiotic relationships between local inhabitants and their environments. “Candidates are encouraged to share their new-found knowledge within their immediate communities to promote a wider understanding of the need to protect and to live in a harmonious beneficial relationship with our natural habitat.”
Jermain Ketji, community liaison manager for Wilderness Safari-Tora Conservancy and one of the establishments that put community members forward for the course, says the programme is an invaluable tool in empowering the community.
“We try to up-skill members within our community so that we have a pool of resources to draw from when employment opportunities arise at one of our five partner lodges. This wisdom that they have attained empowers them to give back to their communities.” – de kock communications
Date: 10 October 2013