Photography by Jarryd Outram – @jarrydoutramphotography

After experiencing remarkable growth over the first few months of Lessons in Conservation’s existence and with all of our short-term goals being met, we knew it was time that we set our sights on bigger things. 

We, as the Gauteng LiC Team, believed that there was bound to be other likeminded individuals who would have the passion and drive to take on the Lessons in Conservation ideology, create a branch of the NPO in their area and further the reach of our mission. For our starting point we only needed 3 things:

  1. A biodiverse conservation area
  2. Communities in that area to work with
  3. People to do the work

So, naturally, we chose one of the most unique biodiverse regions South Africa has to offer, surrounded by poverty-stricken areas in dire need of education, with a remarkable university close by. You guessed it – The Western Cape!

Dean and I approached the Conservation Ecology students at Stellenbosch University as our starting base for the LiC Western Cape Team, giving them information on what we were all about. After a keen interest being shown with some impressive CV’s sent through, we soon travelled to Cape Town to screen and interview the applicants. We found 4 incredible students who have taken on LiC as their very own baby and have enabled LiC to make a difference in new lives and places.

We hope this is only the very beginning and dream of seeing LiC in every province across South Africa!

– Robyn De Villiers

Are you interested in conservation and looking to make a difference in the lives of children?

These 2 questions formed my first peek into the window of what Lessons in Conservation was all about.

Today, more than half a year later, I still use that line to describe our organisation. After being selected as part of the LiC WC Team, the ball got rolling pretty quickly. We held our first meeting just a few days later where we signed our contracts with only a small idea of what exactly was in store.

Our first days as LiC team fledglings made me incredibly excited as I saw the passion shining through Dean and Robyn, as well as the professionalism displayed by them. Within the first month, LIC WC had organised a successful launch evening and fundraising event at a popular eatery in Stellenbosch. We had also established our first partnership with Usiko, an incredible organisation that believes children and youth need positive ‘rites of passage’ experiences that connect them to the identity of the self, to community and to the environment. 

Usiko linked us to our first school, Weber Gedenk Primary in Jamestown, Stellenbosch. It was tricky to find the right community at first, as we seek to fulfil the children’s’ lives as richly as possible during our time with them. We are now involved with Stellenzicht Secondary School and next on the agenda is our Cheetah Outreach excursion this weekend.

Planning and passion are the components of the formula that makes LiC work as well as it does. We hope that as you learn more about us, your peek into the window of LiC is as positive and exciting as it was for me at first!

– Candice Denner

You can find out more about the LiC founder, regional managers and both the Gauteng and Western Cape Teams on our website under the ‘about us – our team’ section. 

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