Volkswagen supports Wilderness Foundation in empowering youth

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An ongoing partnership between Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) and local non-profit organisation Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) has proved invaluable to the development and upliftment of youth from various communities.

As VWSA remains committed to empowering the youth, the company has supported WFA since 2015 by providing a Volkswagen Kombi to assist the organisation. The Kombi has been instrumental in making various youth development programmes possible, by transporting youth and staff to different sites.

These programmes include the Umzi Wethu vocational training programme, the Siyazenzela skills development initiative and the Imbewu trails project, designed to teach scholars and students to become environmentally conscious citizens.

Between October 2018 and April 2019, VWSA's support has helped WFA to achieve the following successes:

  • 121 youths were reached through the 14 wilderness trails (including 7 used for the Siyazenzela programme, 4 for Umzi Wethu students and 3 Imbewu trails);
  • 106 students were enrolled in various Siyazenzela courses offered in Port Elizabeth and Robertson, focusing on Emotional and Social Wellness, Occupational and Financial Wellness, and Physical and Environmental Wellness. This brings the total graduates of the programme to more than 1 100 students.
  • 20 students completed the Umzi Wethu Conservation programme, while a second group of 20 students began their training on 24 April;
  • 18 students graduated from the Hospitality programme as Assistant Chefs, with 10 of the graduates being selected for further training. Another 19 students completed their theoretical training for this course in March, and have been placed with practical training partners until the end of September. At this time they will have completed the requirements to qualify as NQF level 4 Professional Chefs.

In the past, the Kombi was used to transport trail guides, students and staff to sites in Port Elizabeth and Robertson, where they could benefit from these programmes. The new Kombi that was handed over to the Foundation this year will continue to be used to support the Foundation as a mode of transport for staff and students.

"Over the years, we have been proud to partner with Wilderness Foundation Africa and support them in their tireless efforts for youth development,"

said Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director.

"VWSA is glad to continue this relationship, as we believe in contributing to the empowerment of youth. Through this partnership, we aim to continue making a difference and bringing hope to each student who benefits from the Wilderness Foundation Africa programmes."

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