The “Green Beret” Youth ranger programme is just one of several NEW programmes that will roll out in conjunction with Generation Now Movement’s (GNM) new conservation technologies to build up a large anti-poaching force with results to match the effort. With a combination of existing programmes, which the Earth Call Foundation will continue to support, and with this new initiative, the fight against Rhino poaching has new teeth and therefore strength!

YOUTH RANGER TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

This exciting new Project called “The Green Beret Rangers” will aim to curb the rhino poaching epidemic in the Kruger Park but also promises various other benefits to the community as set out in points below.

The programme will educate children in community schools, bordering the South Western Boundary of Kruger Park and will play a vital role in curbing the regional poaching activities.

Poachers reside and run their activities in the adjacent villages without any fear of being caught. Having the youth in those villages report via cell phone and toll-free numbers suspicious activities will turn the safe environment into a hostile environment for the criminals. NOTE: The Confidentiality and the safety of the “ranger” informers will be a priority to the “handlers” at all time.

The programme is not new and was utilized by Limpopo Parks Board more than 20 years ago with great results as the youth were found to be more trustworthy information sources than the adults.

We have a team of 4 qualified Environmental Education Coordinators, with extensive experience in the township areas. Together with partners such as Ants, Wessa and Eco-schools, and under the leadership of Chris Daniel, qualified rangers with a degree in B.Sc Hons in Entomology and B.Sc.Degree in Zoology and Entomology, the team will combine their skills and experience to ensure a long-term successful outcome. Chris has also extensive experience in the field of management, training and particularly rhino poaching. He is also the author of several books combatting rhino poaching.

He has sold over anti-poaching 20 000 books worldwide. This extraordinary team will tailor make the student’s program to ensure the youth's safety from age 14 (Grade 8) up is paramount, yet their exposure exceptional and life-changing. These carefully selected students will also have the benefit of the program providing them with “credits” when they complete the Guide/Ranger program at age 21. The program offers a variety of other skills as well.

PROGRAM CONTENT

The program will provide a strong ground focus on ecological services, basically be learning why Nature is important.

The level 2 Environmental practice skills course material will be integrated into the course which also deals with monitoring, evaluation, and reporting. The levels 2 and 5 are accredited by the LGSETA.

Sections of the course will align with the school’s curriculum so that the program coordinators can monitor the learner's overall academic performance. If their marks go up at school it will add tremendous value and marketing potential to the rangers program.

The program will also offer the Environmental practice level 5 course for the 18-year-olds. This accredited course will allow the youths to obtain jobs with SANPARKS or the municipality on a workers or management level.
This could ensure that the program is not only offering a niche specific training program but one that lends itself to skills diversification.

THE SUCCESS

The success of the programme depends on the number of schools that will be participating in the programme. There is at present 7 Tribal authorities with at least 3 schools in each area that will be participating in the program. All of these areas border the Kruger Park. The program will only start with 7 schools in 2016, and each school will reach a maximum of 50 participating pupils by year 5. The Coordinators aim to include the rest of the 21 schools, depending on funding, as soon as possible.