Transforming Lives Through Education: Celebrating Our First Class of Community Field Guide Graduates

Transforming Lives Through Education: Celebrating Our First Class of Community Field Guide Graduates

Monday, the 19th of June 2023, will forever hold a special place in our hearts. On this extraordinary day, we celebrated the graduation of our class of 23 sponsored community students from the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide training programme. This initiative, made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors (Anglo American, Tshikululu Trust, Italile Foundation and Warthog Wallow Trust) and partners (MORE Field Guide College and the Timbavati Foundation) has catalysed a transformation that extends beyond individuals to the conservation and hospitality sectors at large in South Africa.

From all corners, distinguished guests gathered to acknowledge and applaud the monumental achievement of these young trailblazers. Their overwhelming show of support underscored the pivotal role of education in unlocking opportunities, resonating with the ethos of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4), to which we subscribe.

Central to this accomplishment were our lead sponsors and funders, Anglo American and Tshikululu Trust, whose invaluable contributions brought our collective dream to life. From immersive learning within the classrooms of MORE Field Guide College to hands-on experiences in the breath-taking expanses of the Timbavati Game Reserve, every milestone in our students’ journey was moulded by their unwavering commitment and generous support.

Special guests Lynne McLean from Anglo and Thabo Modisha from Anglo Twikenham mine proudly stood alongside Shamiso Chideme and Graeme Wilkinson from Tshikululu Trust, bearing witness to the fruits of the seeds they had sown. Also joining in this joyous celebration were Michelle du Plessis from the Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA), the MORE Family Collection Board of Directors, Michelle Scott (GM of More Community Foundation), and Minenhle Moyo (Operations Manager of More Community Foundation), all lending their voices to the chorus of congratulations.

Lynne McLean from Anglo
Candice Grover, MORE Field Guide College
The remarkable accomplishment of our 23 students, each graduating and securing practical work experience placements, exemplifies the success of the programme. These newly minted graduates, with diverse interests in field guiding, environmental education, hospitality, and conservation management, are set to catalyse a ripple effect in their communities and beyond. Today, we’re not just celebrating the graduation of 23 field guides; we’re celebrating the beginning of a transformation in South Africa’s hospitality and conservation landscape.

Some of our graduates...

Our programme distinguishes itself through a robust commitment to job placement, ensuring our graduates are supported in their transition from classroom to career. This approach aligns with our ethos of not just educating the youth, but actively facilitating their career progression.

Looking forward, we eagerly anticipate our next intake in July. We’re thrilled to welcome another 23 students at the MORE Field Guide Kruger Campus, sponsored once again by Anglo and Tshikululu, with an additional 10 at the MORE Field Guide Waterberg College, sponsored by Anglo and Summit.

As we bid farewell to our pioneering graduates, we are inspired by what they symbolise – the power of education to transform lives and foster a sustainable future for South Africa. They leave our campus equipped with more than just knowledge and skills – they carry with them a beacon of hope for a brighter, more prosperous future. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors, supporters, and the dedicated team who turned this dream into a reality. Here’s to many more successful intakes and the continued growth of this transformative initiative!

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