Who and What is WildREACH?
Since its inception in late 2010, WildREACH (Wildlife Outreach) has grown to become an exciting, progressive and active community engagement project fostering a valuable relationship between student volunteers and local communities in which knowledge is shared and applied in an effort to promote social and environmental sustainability through wildlife conservation. WildREACH is currently based at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
The initiative has taken off as a project under the umbrella of the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF), one of the most progressive student organizations in South Africa. The successful development of WildREACH has largely been owing to the ongoing support of SEACC SF, the structural support provided by the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and, more recently, financial support from the Wildlands Conservation Trust (WCT). A dedicated task team of students, together with an advisory committee of Rhodes University staff ensures that WildREACH’s management is both professional and effective.
What do we do?
Our outreach involves getting student volunteers involved in helping local youth between the ages of 15 and 18 develop or further any existing interest in wild areas, the natural environment and their importance. This is achieved through fun and exciting projects such as educationally-focused and activity-filled weekends away at local nature reserves, museum visits, day trips to wildlife areas and various other activities focused on conservation through knowledge.
More recently we have implemented the concept of Wildlife Clubs within schools, whereby student volunteers facilitate an environment for high school learners from previously disadvantaged communities to address environmental issues within their own community, while fostering valuable relationships with the learners.