Nurturing Through Nature: The socio-economic impact of Umzi Wethu on rural Eastern Cape communities

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This study seeks to determine and document the socio-economic impact of the Umzi Wethu programme, which uses nature as a basis to nurture, educate and prepare young, vulnerable people for employment. Umzi Wethu, a programme conceptualized, managed and implemented by the Wilderness Foundation, is actively using biodiversity conservation as a basis for educating and nurturing young people. The programme seeks 'to fulfil the employability potential of resilient, motivated youth displaced by HIV and AIDS and poverty by using the power of the wilderness, promoting personal wellness in a nurturing home context, providing credible training, and securing sustainable job placements in hospitality and ecotourism environments – while extending the programme’s social outreach to others'. Few programmes provide a holistic approach that augments relevant skills training with life skills and wellness support, which is especially beneficial for youth who have been made vulnerable by an inherited disparity, poverty and the HIV and AIDS crisis. The significant socio-economic impact of the Umzi Wethu model is documented in this report. The programme has brought about positive socio-economic development within rural communities in the Eastern Cape. It has resulted in increased levels of education and training and circulation of income within rural regions, youth employment and the general improvement of the socio-economic status of rural communities. This document is one of a number of publications highlighting NGO good practice and emerging issues from partner organizations supported by Oxfam in South Africa.
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  www.oxfam.org.au Reasearch 3 THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF UMZI WETHU ON RURAL EASTERN CAPE COMMUNITIES  1Title:  Research 3: Nurturing through Nature: The socio-economic impact of Umzi Wethu on rural Eastern Cape communities Published: October 2015 Researcher and Author: Strategic EDGE Solutions Editor:  Cheryl Goodenough Design:  LUMO design & illustration (www.lumo.co.za) Photos:  Karl Schoemaker & Alexia Webster Acknowledgements:  Quotes from Umzi Wethu staff members and graduates republished in this document are from Case Study 16: An Extraordinary Journey: Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth  and Case Study 19: The Journey Continues: Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth  by Alexa Schoof Marketos. Copyright:  Oxfam gives permission for excerpts from this book to be photocopied or reproduced provided that the source is clearly and properly acknowledged. Disclaimer:  The views in this publication are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent those of Oxfam or any funding agency. The interview and review process was participatory and consent around content and inclusion of personal information was given to Oxfam by interviewees. Oxfam extends its thanks to all who contributed to this document. Contact Details: OXFAM AUSTRALIA WILDERNESS FOUNDATION  132 Leicester Street Eastern Province Child &Youth Care Centre Carlton 3053 Corner Lennox and Conyngham Road, Victoria, Glendinningvale, Port Elizabeth, Australia South Africa +61 3 9289 4444 +27 (0) 41 374 0746  enquire@oxfam.org.au umzi@sa.wild.org  2 INTRODUCTION 04CONTEXT 06STUDENTS: RECRUITMENT, SELECTION AND PLACEMENT 10SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY OF THE UMZI WETHU TRAINING ACADEMY 14 THE GRADUATES 16 SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS: EDUCATION 18 SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS: HEALTH AND WELLNESS 19 SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS: INCOME 21RECOMMENDATIONS 26CONCLUSION 30
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