iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority has once again hosted the academic dinner for iSimangaliso Tertiary Support Programme beneficiaries. This is to celebrate students who receive support from iSimangaliso as some of them will be graduating next year.
This programme provides academic support to the youth from neighbouring communities to access tertiary education in the fields of study related to conservation, tourism and development. It is indeed an undisputed fact that conservation without people is failed conservation. However, conservation with the people for the people is the way to go if we are to continuously conserve these land parcels. Such programmes allow iSimangaliso to strengthen relationships with neighbouring communities.
iSimangaliso is under the uMkhanyakude District which is perceived in the country as one of a poverty-stricken district. The area has been characterized by social ills including inequality, poverty and high unemployment. Recent statistics depicts that unemployment under uMkhanyakude district is currently sitting at around 42%. This gives iSimangaliso a great deal of challenges to ensure it alleviate poverty through jobs creation and initiate socio-economic development programmes for our impoverished local communities. This programme is one of the key programmes that enables iSimangaliso to change the prevalent narrative about uMkhanyakude district, iSimangaliso wants to ensure youth of the area is trained and equipped with the necessary skills in conservation and tourism related fields. Since its inception in 2010, This programme has supported 157 youth from local communities to access tertiary education and provided psycho-social support to students to ensure students adapt to city life and pass their registered modules. 139 beneficiaries have graduated and more than 60% of them are currently employed; 25% being employed by iSimangaliso.
(Sibongakonke Mdletshe) who recently graduated from UKZN in Bachelor of Art has been privileged to be one of the iSimangaliso Tertiary support programme Alumni and now employed by iSimangaliso as a Personal Assistant intern for an Executive manager. Ms. Mdletshe advised students and said they must focus on their studies and when choosing friends they must be wise as bad friends might derail them from their studies.
(Yamukelani Zwane) iSimangaliso Tertiary Education Support Programme Alumni, graduated in 2015 in Bachelor of Community Development Studies. Has been also privileged to be employed by iSimangaliso as the Rural Enterprise Development Intern. Yamukelani shared his story with students that it took him six years before he secured internship employment and advised students that they must not take job rejection personal and must not give up when its time things will happen.
Sandiso Zikhali, tertiary Education support beneficiary thanked iSimangaliso on behalf of the Programme beneficiaries and stated that the support they have been receiving form iSimangaliso has been helpful, the stipends, academic and psycho-social support has helped them face difficulties in their studiers.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority will be recruiting new beneficiaries early next year, those interested must look for iSimangaliso from the 9th to 13th January 2023 in the below mentioned Universities. OR download application form from iSimangaliso website www.iSimangaliso.com.
The requirements are as follow:
Statement issued by iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority
MLO: Mr Bheki Manzini
Call/Whatsap:060 533 2082