The CCFA supports Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) and its Siyazenzela (we are doing it for ourselves) training course and funded this course in the Addo community. The WFA drives holistic skills development and conservation-based education interventions for previously disadvantaged youths. Their Siyazenzela training course focuses on emotional & social wellness, occupational & financial wellness, and physical & environmental wellness.


The Addo Community Project benefits 120 youth between the ages of 18 and 24, enhancing their chances of finding employment.  The program includes a 4 week Siyazenzela life skills and employability skills course, as well as an intensive 3 day Imbewu Wilderness Trail, which aims to connect the youth to their cultural-environmental heritage. It also draws attention to the healing power of nature for personal and social transformation. The top students will be chosen to attend further training in order to equip them to become field guides in conservation.

In 2019, the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) and Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) established an agreement, through which CCFA provided a financial contribution in support of WFA’s Youth Development Programmes.

Project Update – May 2020

Our Siyazenzela Heroes

From unemployed to top of their class – that is the story of three young men from the Eastern Cape – Lumanyano Anthony Vaaltyn, Sinethemba Kwani and Simemkele Majaliment. They were selected to undergo the Siyazenzela Training Course in Addo Elephant National Park, a Wilderness Trail which was followed by a field guide qualification, completed at Ulovane Environmental Training Academy.

Lumanyano, Sinethemba and Simemkele were the three top performers in the group on the programme run by WFA, which focuses on holistic skills development and conservation-based education interventions for vulnerable youths.

SIYAZENZELA Training Course

The Addo Community Project included the four-week Siyazenzela Training Course, with facilitation in the following focus areas:

  • Emotional and Social Wellness
  • Occupational and Financial Wellness
  • Physical and Environmental Wellness

This is followed by an intensive three-day Wilderness Trail, which aims to connect the youth to their cultural and environmental heritage.

The recruitment process for the Course was held in July 2019 in the targeted community of Nomathamsanqa, in Addo in the Eastern Cape. 

30 students were selected, 22 enrolled and 19 eventually completed the entire training programme.  10 Went on to participate in the Wilderness Trail and the top three were chosen to attend a further 10-week training course to equip them to become field guides in the conservation sector.

Quotes from these achievers:

“I will apply the knowledge from the class and share with the community”

“I can achieve a lot through communication and resilience”

“To be able to share my feelings to help other young people to know about nature”

“I found out many things I did not know about myself and developed interest to nature and what I want in future”


10 of the Siyazenzela learners attended the 3-day wilderness trail held in the Kabouga Section of the Addo Elephant National Park.  It began with a guided walk to the campsite with Elder Jackson Lumkwana, educating students about the different plants found at the park and their purposes, as well as the different animals that live in the park. Students are expected to collect their own firewood for cooking as well as be part of the night watch activity.  All were assessed by guides and counsellors throughout the process.

 “I learned that the environment and I work together, and got time for introspection, teamwork and respect”

“The walk was challenging I learned that I can do most things I thought I would never do”

“I learned that nature is important to human beings, we get oxygen from plants”

“I will start educating my family about importance of nature”

“The highlight was the conversation around about future goals. Night watch taught me to be selfless and good communication skills”

WFA is happy to report at the time of this update that 11 of the Addo Siyazenzela graduates have found employment (either on a permanent or contractual basis).

All 19 learners graduated from the Siyanzenza Training Course and the  3 students selected to complete the FGASA vocational training course at Ulovane Environmental Training received their study material on graduation day in order to start familiarising themselves with the terminology.  WFA representatives and Ulovane facilitators continued interacting with the learners in order to monitor their progress. Clementine Ngobeni from SANParks committed to involving the learners in activities around the park to get them ready for their course.

Project Update

In October 2020 YDP conducted its first Siyazenzela course since the Covid-19 outbreak. The course was held at Uviwe Child and Youth Services in Schauderville, situated in the gang-riddled Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth.

Selection Process

The course commenced with two Orientation Sessions conducted at the Uviwe Centre in Schauderville on Friday, the 2nd of October 2020. After the Orientation Sessions, the YDP Siyazenzela facilitators  conducted interviews with the attendees in order to screen and select the candidates best suited for the training. Although 12 potential participants arrived on selection day, unfortunately only 7 met the required criteria to take part in the course. Criteria for their inclusion required the youth to be between the ages of 18 – 27; completed Grade 11 or 12; be unemployed; come from a disadvantaged background and live in the Northern Areas.

What set this course apart was the inclusion of a two-day “Alternatives to Violence” Basic workshop. The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop is part of the Southern Africa Development, Research and Training Institute’s ongoing approach to eliminate violence in communities among groups and institutions. The aim of this intervention was not only to bring a program that will enable the youth to find job opportunities but also to enhance resilience among beneficiaries in an area that has been highlighted to have high levels of violence. Reports indicated that it is mainly young people who are the most vulnerable and prone to be involved in gang activities, hence the need for AVP to be part of this particular Siyazenzela Training Course.
The training consisted of the following five thematic areas of AVP principles:
1. Affirmation
2. Communication
3. Cooperation
4. Community Building and Trust
5. Conflict Management

The AVP Workshop Objectives included:
• To make an intervention towards enhancing resilience and reducing interpersonal violence in our society.
• To present conflict management skills that can enable individuals to build successful
interpersonal interactions, gain insights into themselves and find new and positive approaches to their lives.
• To offer experiential workshops that empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation and trust, and conflict management.

Below are direct quotes from some of the students after completing their Siyazenzela course:
 “I learned to be a focused person and take risks in life to gain a success in the future.”
“I trust myself much better.”
“I know my strength and area where I still need to grow.”
“I fully understand what it means to be resilient.”
“I am ready to face the world.”

The second CCFA funded Siyazenzela training course ran at the Interpretive Centre in the Addo Elephant National Park from 02 – 13 November 2020.

Selection Process

Two Orientation and Selection Days were held on the 29th and 30th of October 2020 at the Valencia and Nomathamsanqa community halls respectively. Potential beneficiary names were gathered from the Addo Humanitarian Food Relief Project surveys, community councillors and referrals from previous Siyazenzela and Umzi Wethu graduates. After each Orientation Session, the WFA Siyazenzela facilitators conducted interviews with the attendees in order to screen and select the candidates best suited for the training. Fifty-Four (54) potential participants arrived over the two selection days. In order to make up for the shortfall of candidates in the previous Siyazenzela course and to accommodate for any potential drop-outs, 17 beneficiaries were selected to take part in the training.


A combined graduation ceremony was held for the Uviwe and Addo Siyazenzela graduates at the Hapoor Lapa in the Addo Elephant National Park on the 18th of November 2020. Aphiwe Temele acted as class speaker for the Addo graduates and inspirational poems were recited by Valentine Witbooi and Sihle Mjadu. The guest speaker for the event was WFA Umzi-Wethu Graduate and Alumni, Nwabisani Hendricks. Nwabisani is currently a Marine Field Ranger for Addo Elephant National Park and an Environmental Management Inspector who works together with the Wildlife Operations Group which, in conjunction with law enforcement, aims to protect nature and wildlife.

We are very happy to report that 6 of the Addo Siyazenzela graduates have been registered for an NQF 2 FET Certificate in Plant Production Learnership with Scientific Roets, to commence their training on the 11th of January 2021. A further 5 graduates were selected by SANParks for possible recruitment into their “People and Parks Youth Champions Presidential Stimulus Programme”. One more graduate obtained employment as a table attendant.

Nearly all the countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030.

They’ve committed themselves to 17 life-changing goals, outlined by the UN in 2015. These Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), include ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare, and achieving equality for women.  The aim is for all countries to work together to ensure no one is left behind.

This project is aligned with the following goals: