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Sponsor a Community Field Guide

R342,192 of R500,000 raised

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Sponsor a Community Field Guide – Transform a passion into a career.

Closing the gap between community youth skills development and employability at 5* lodge level, empowering more lodges to recruit local guides, and in so doing support social development.

More Community Foundation’s (MCF) goals include upskilling for employment, specifically into the tourism group that collaborates with MCF. The majority of the local luxury lodges in the greater Kruger National Park, APNR region require a minimum FGASA level 2 qualification, with Lead Trails, ARH, PDP and NDT registration.

MORE Family Collection (MFC) manages a Career Guide College called NJ More Field Guide College in Marataba Game Reserve (Limpopo Province). NJ More has a comprehensive guide training program, with an extensive practical component and offers each student a six-month experimental training opportunity at one of the MFC lodge properties, including the Lion Sands lodges. This automatic practical placement gives NJ More students a leg-up from a practical, work experience perspective, as well as on-the-ground lodge experience and an opportunity for the learners to generate their trails hours with a professional field guide that is Special Skills Dangerous Game qualified. This undoubtedly gives the students and graduates the best opportunity for employment, specifically in the MFC group.

In 2021 we launched the Community Field Guide Training and Development Programme, aimed at upskilling and training local community members into qualified field guides at a luxury lodge level. In July 2021, we trialed the programme by sponsoring one student and monitoring his progress with great success. We partnered with the Good Work Foundation to sponsor a graduate from their Conservation Academy, ensuring the learner had the aptitude for tertiary study and an existing passion for conservation and interest in a career in field guiding. A panel interviewed all applicants, and a student was identified for the programme, which commenced in July 2021.

Course Outline Course Outline

  • One-year Course
  • Six months training on NJ MORE bush campus in Marakele National Park/Marataba private section
  • Six months practical internship in one of the MORE Family Collection’s five-star lodges (on condition that the candidate meets the requirements)
  • Candidate is added to the MORE recruitment pool – Possible contract with the MORE Family Collection lodges (subject to making the necessary requirements and passing interviews)

All equipment, books and uniform are provided, along with transport and any additional – training related costs. The student signs a bursary contract, and their training and outputs are monitored consistently. Once the student has passed and graduated, they are then placed at a lodge where they are allocated a mentor who supports their development and practical training. The objective is for each student to pass their qualification, giving them the best opportunity for employment.

Graduates’ CVs are also submitted to local lodge forums for recruitment agencies to aid employment opportunities.

Costs

  • The full cost to sponsor a community field guide for the Guide & Trails career course at NJ More Field Guide College is R190 925 for the year
  • This covers the curriculum costs, accommodation and boarding, uniform, guidebooks, equipment, safety wear, binoculars, leatherman, back-pack, transport, and an additional training supplement
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