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VWSA HELPS WILDERNESS FOUNDATION AFRICA TO UPLIFT COMMUNITIES

Date: 05 Aug 2021 Author Type: Press Release
Author: Volkswagen South Africa
Source: Volkswagen South Africa
  • VWSA has assisted the Foundation since 2015 through vehicle support
  • New VW Kombi handed over to WFA in July
Kariega – In a year where the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the vulnerable communities served by Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA), this organisation’s partnership with Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has proved invaluable to its efforts to uplift these communities.

WFA, a non-profit organisation, focuses its efforts on empowering the youth through conservation and education. As youth development is a priority to VWSA, the company has been proud to support WFA since 2015 by providing a vehicle to assist them in their important work.

To this end, a new Volkswagen Kombi was handed over to WFA last week, which they will continue using for transport in their different youth development programmes. These programmes include the Siyazenzela training programme, the Umzi Wethu conservation programme and the Imbewu wilderness trails, all of which were run in 2020 and the first half of this year.

During this period, the vehicle support from VWSA has enabled WFA to make a difference in the following ways:
  • The Youth Development Programme team prioritised the wellbeing of communities in Addo, Colchester, Kirkwood and Paterson, by delivering a total of 2 503 food parcels to 553 needy households impacted by the shutdown of tourism in the Addo area
  • WFA also ran a humanitarian food relief project through its sister organisation, the Wilderness Leadership School in KwaZulu Natal, distributing 720 food hampers to needy families
  • The Siyazenzela training programme offered five courses throughout the pandemic, focusing on topics such as marine conservation, front of house training, and Entrepreneurship Fundamentals. These courses were attended by 78 students, of whom 18 has since found employment and 16 have been registered for further training
  • The Umzi Wethu conservation programme gave 8 students the opportunity to join the Kariega Game Reserve for 12-month Anti-Poaching Unit and Community Internships, starting in February 2021. A previous intake of 8 students also finished this programme in June 2021
  • The Imbewu trails project, which is designed to teach participants how to be environmentally conscious citizens, was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, by implementing strict Covid-19 protocols and shortening the trail offering from three days to one day, WFA was able to offer these to a total of 16 students over two occasions in 2021
  • In addition to these wilderness trails, WFA offered its Pride trail as part of the Siyazenzela programme, hosting five one-day trails in 2020 and 2021 to a total of 76 students
Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa, thanked VWSA for their continued support of the organisation. “Without reliable vehicles and transportation for the team and beneficiaries, none of these projects would have been possible.”

“We remain proud to call ourselves a partner of Wilderness Foundation Africa and to be associated with their efforts to empower the youth,” said Nonkqubela Maliza, VWSA’s Director for Corporate and Government Affairs. “Through this partnership, we want to continue making a difference in those communities who find hope in the Foundation’s programmes.”