As promised, we are here to brighten up your Thursday with more awesome news about how our work is helping the world of conservation and educating the youth of South Africa. Here are some of the happenings from earlier this year!

Gauteng Bryanston Fundraiser

On the 20th of February 2019, the LiC Gauteng team hosted an extremely successful fundraiser at the beautiful Bryanston Country Club. The guests enjoyed a delicious meal and were privileged enough to be addressed by some very influential people in the industry. Fantastic and informative speeches were given by many, including Les Carlisle, the Group Conservation Manager at &Beyond and a man who has been hugely influential in establishing &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, and Kim Wolhuter, an award-winning maverick photographer, filmmaker and conservationist. We appreciate them taking out the time to come and educate us and make for a great event.

The evening ended with auctions of various photographic and art pieces in order to raise funds to be used in LiC’s cause and more specifically to help fund the FGASA training of one of the programmes most promising prospects, Phiwokhule Masimula.

The auctioned items raised a great deal more money than expected. A special thank you again to Kim Wolhuter, The Platter Project and Derick and Beverley Joubert for their belief in our cause and their generosity towards LiC.

– written by Alex Goddard

LiC Western Cape Launching

Our newly appointed Western Cape team had big plans but no foundation to build ideas upon, thus we started brainstorming ideas for our launch. The goal was to find a venue that had a strong reputation for important stakeholders we wanted to invite but that also spoke to the students of Stellenbosch that could become core team or FLiC (Friends of Lessons in Conservation) members. It was decided that The Trumpet Tree was the perfect fit and our launch which was successfully held at the restaurant on Thursday 4 April 2019.

Since it was our first official event as a team we were equally nervous and excited, knowing that the evening would set the precedent for what lay ahead. It turned out better than expected and our hours of planning were fruitful. The restaurant was filled with a diverse crowd, young and old, to whom we presented our mission and the previous successes of the Gauteng team. Background music by Ben Dey set the tone to a relaxed evening of raffle prizes, good food and networking. We achieved all the goals outlined for the evening: informing and networking with the Stellenbosch community about LiC and raising some funds through a small raffle. It’s a humbling moment when the founding members of the Western Cape team look back together at our launch evening and realise how far we’ve come with a more integrated team, several other successes behind us and exciting plans ahead of us!

– written by Candice Denner

We have the means now the work must start…

We were initially thrown in the deep end, trying to get such a great project started in a place where we reside. But following our first successful fundraiser, we now had the means to start the work. After a couple of weeks of searching for a community that we would like to help, we ran into Usiko Stellenbosch. Usiko is an NGO that works with the Jamestown community and is involved in helping at-risk youth. They primarily focus on encouraging youth and provide them with positive ‘rites of passage’ in order to push them towards self-identification, with the hopes of changing their lives for the better. One of Usiko’s core values is also nature, and that’s where we came in. Despite a packed aftercare program designed to help enrich the lives of the youth of Jamestown, LiC has managed to find a slot every Thursday to teach some of their candidates about basic ecological principles.

It has been a great privilege for us as a young NPC to work with and learn from the 25 years of experience that Usiko brings, having helped 15 000 youths. They have inspired us as a team to continue this pursuit in trying to change lives for the better. For they have shown that if you care enough about the hearts of the youth, you can make a difference.

– written by Clint Cupido

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