The Johannesburg Chapter
Mentorship Program for Creating Conservation Careers
Children that show interest and talent in natural sciences will be encouraged to join the mentorship program which helps them gain practical experience of careers in tourism, wildlife and rehabilitation of wildlife and the aim is also to create more jobs in this sector. Another long-term goal of the project is to play a part in the reduction of juvenile delinquency. According to research studies, it is a norm for countries with a weak educational system that 85% of all juveniles who end up in the court system become criminals, and amongst them at least 60% percent are illiterate (NDTAC., 2010).
This project is currently managed by Sayomi Tasaki whose experience covers more than 18 years in the fields of Biology, Groundwater Ecology, Nature Conservation and the Environment. Through the years of professional experience overseas, Sayomi worked as a marine biologist in the sea fisheries industry, in aquaculture and as a life sciences teacher. In South Africa, she has been accredited with post-graduate Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Johannesburg, where she began a pioneer research project to develop a method for the bio-monitoring of freshwater ecosystems at streams’ headwaters. She further pursued her PhD studies at the School of Environmental Sciences at the North West University. Here she played a role as the leading research scientist on a project for the Water Research Commission to develop a study-model regarding the ecology of South African groundwater aquifers.
Pilot Program Results
The pilot programme is currently running and has been described as having a beneficial effect on students by the administration at Kids Haven, a large orphanage hosting more than 300 hundred juveniles (http://www.kidshaven.org.za)
This Project is free of gender, race, political or religious bias. Its core principle is to help the planet by creating a greater depth of environmental awareness whilst encouraging students to obtain a closer understanding of Earth’s phenomena and its history and matters regarding the flora and fauna within the diversity of ecosystems.