A New Equation in Conservation: Introducing the Bizhub Conservation Academy

by Konica Minolta SA

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designer and operator, Lucian Banitz, gives Good Work Foundation students their first lesson in drone operation. From left: Precious Gumede, Sibusiso Mnisi, Reanette Gazide, Abna Machavana and Charles Ngomane

The fate of wildlife in Africa’s remaining conservation reserves is dependent on the commitment and support of communities living adjacent to these reserves.The current scourge in poaching can only be combated if we can establish structures that align the economic interests of community to the welfare of wildlife, each dependent on the other for its continued economic wellbeing and existence.This accepted approach has been embraced by our organisation and this year we have committed to fund and establish the bizhub Conservation Academy in association with public benefit organisation, Good Work Foundation (GWF).The objectives of the bizhub Conservation Academy will be to empower a new generation of community conservationists and entrepreneurs who will be given the skills to become active in the commercial possibilities of South Africa’s growing economy of wildlife.
The bizhub Conservation Academy will be managed by GWF – supported by a training curriculum – and founded on the mission to deliver world-class digital and English literacy tuition to rural communities.The Academy – located in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province – will offer specialised career-training in practical disciplines such as fence construction; security management; animal husbandry; veterinary services; drone, fixed-wing and helicopter digital simulated pilot training; professional guiding; photographic instruction and related conservation and tourism career-skills and qualifications. The vision is for the bizhub Conservation Academy to become a prototype of what can happen when proudly South African corporations, conservationists, educators, technology and young people come together to create communities that are passionate about the opportunities of our wildlife.

About Good Work Foundation
Good Work Foundation (GWF) has been working with grassroots education in Africa since 2003. The mission of GWF is to uplift rural communities through access to world-class education and, to this end, GWF was one of the first organisations in Africa to bring tablet computing and learning apps to rural learners, and now, they are the only sub-Saharan organisation working with Stanford University on cloud-based learning.

GWF currently operates four digital learning centres where each centre is made up of academies that deliver basic literacy and career training to school-aged and adult learners. Open Learning Academies focus on English literacy, math’s literacy, digital literacy, conservation literacy and life skills for school-aged learners. Career-Training Academies provide vocational skills courses and digital literacy tuition to adult learners. In all areas, and collaborating with strategic partners, GWF focuses on delivering digital curriculums, state-of-the-art facilities and expert tuition.

www.goodworkfoundation.org | video | TEDInstitute Talk

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