The UMZI WETHU model is a one year, social development and intervention programme for displaced and socially vulnerable youth (those who have lost one or both parents, are child headed households or live in households with no formal income). It draws on opportunities presented by gaps in various sectors including the hospitality and eco-tourism industry in South Africa, training junior chefs and waitrons, as well as field guides and field rangers. As part of our Vulnerable Youth programme, Umzi Wethu seeks to deliver holistic skills development and education interventions that harness the healing power of nature, equipping vulnerable youth to be economically active and environmentally responsible citizens.
Wilderness Foundation Europe's flagship social programme has produced results for over six years. It focuses on society’s most vulnerable youth: aged 16 – 21 years with little education or job training. TurnAround addresses complex personal/social issues through wilderness therapy, tough love, straight talking, outdoor facilitation, mentoring by committed staff and trained community volunteers, and support towards employment or studies. The 18 month programme – with investment of just £7000 per young person – has an 86% success rate of participants moving forward into further education, training, or employment. Without intervention, most of these young people would likely fall into crime and otherwise be a social burden, costing tax payers up to £100,000 annually.The programme has changed the most vulnerable into strong and independent young adults, citizens and parents.
This Leadership Programme works specifically with a diverse range of young women aged over 16 years, with successful programmes in South Africa, England and Northern Ireland. It stimulates personal development, leadership, self-confidence, ethics and values, environmental awareness, and social and employment skills. The program also has proven and positive impact on the wider communities in which Wild Swans live. Graduates are responsible for training other women and setting up volunteer networks to continue to support each other as they build their lives, find employment, and/or create families. A six monthly programme of workshops custom-designed around the needs of the individual groups costs £1000 per participant.