Community Field Guide College, Kruger Campus
We are SO proud to announce the development and launch of our Community Field Guide Training Program, in partnership with More Field Guide College (MFGC), Timbavati Game Reserve and The Timbavati Foundation. After the success of sponsored candidates at More Field Guide College, we developed a concept to expand the program into the Kruger region, allowing us to sponsor more students – and thereby have a broader impact.
In September 2022 we received funding from Tshikululu Trust, through Anglo American Platinum, to equip and sponsor 42 bursary students over two intakes over the course of 2023. The Timbavati Foundation approved the use of their property for the new campus, with Timbavati Game Reserve supporting the guides’ professional development by allowing training drives and walks within the private reserve.
On the 10th January 2023, we welcomed 23 new bursary students to More Field Guide Kruger Campus. The group consists of young, black South Africans from different rural communities. Bright-eyed and full of excitement, the group quickly settled in and dove headfirst into their training program – a strategic combination of theoretical and practical training.
More Community Foundation’s General Manager, Michelle Scott, had this to say: “Education is the most important tool in our arsenal to combat poverty and unemployment. What makes this program so unique is that it offers not just tertiary education, but also real work experience through the practical in-lodge placements, ensuring we are supporting the three pillars of our development process: education, delivery of basic human needs, and career opportunity”.
Said Robert More from MORE Field Guide College (part of the MORE Family Collection): “This is part of our commitment to addressing unemployment and building of skills in South Africa. Field guides are the educators of the safari landscape, getting guests to understand how important it is to protect and preserve these delicate eco-systems. These students become ambassadors for wildlife within their communities encouraging a conservation approach and the next group of future field guides.”
More Community Foundation and the Timbavati Foundation are both focused on community sustainability and education programmes. “The Timbavavati Foundation is excited about the opening of a new chapter with the MORE Family Collection,” said Charles de Villiers, Timbavati Foundation chairman. “The futures of young men and women are dependent on quality education and training, and this is where our partnership with the MORE Field Guide College will assist in growing them from strength to strength. We look forward to a long working relationship.”
Warden of Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Edwin Pierce added: “This partnership will open doors for so many young and aspiring field guides and ensure that the passion for conservation and environmental education is instilled in future generations.”
“FGASA is proud to endorse the new MORE Field Guide College,” said Michelle du Plessis, FGASA managing director. “It is a privilege to support the MORE group in their endeavours to train passionate, dedicated guides, who share their vision to inspire guests from around the world to love and enjoy the bush. A second campus will make a significant impact in tackling FGASA’s strategy to transform the organisation and guiding sector.”
This incredible program empowers exponentially more community individuals and previously disadvantaged South Africans with a practical, in-safari work placement, that creates work experience and ultimately gives learners the best opportunity for employment in a sector that contributes profoundly to the South African economy. Most importantly, it gives the people of our country, and the generations to come, a much brighter future!
We are looking forward to watching the students thrive and develop as they work towards their practical placements later in the year. July 2023 will see the second intake, with recruitment commencing in April.