Youth 4 African Wildlife (Y4AW) is a South African-based Non-Profit organisation founded in 2012 by Dex Kotze, a South African YPO member. Y4AW trains international youth on how to create lasting and meaningful change for wildlife and wild places. Since our inception, we have hosted 75 YNG interns in the African wilderness. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of these conservation internships 2020-2022, but we are excited to return in 2023!! With climates changing around the world and natural disasters becoming commonplace, we are eager to continue training the next generations on how they can actually make a difference.
When we began in 2012, international knowledge of wildlife issues was limited. Our original mission was to raise awareness of the plight of endangered wildlife via film, photography and social media. We are so proud that we have been a part of the international movement to educate global audiences on conservation issues, endangered African wildlife and the illicit trafficking of wildlife and animal parts.
Our 2023 program will take place from 27 June to 11 July. The internship focuses on experiential interaction with endangered African wildlife and local communities, responsible activism and how to actually help wildlife and the communities that live amongst it. Through Ecotourism, habitats and wildlife are protected and restored because they bring in money for local communities, and nature is a renewable resource. Our interns will learn to use social media for responsible and effective activism/change. They will also learn how to effectively use a camera for still photography, as well as video, and create short 30-second videos for social media on various topics. Perhaps most importantly, they will learn from Y4AW Director and 2014 intern, Dr. Fortunate Phaka on how to empower local communities, how to listen to them, and how to truly become global ambassadors.
Welcome to the African bush for 2 weeks! After picking up our interns from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, we’ll drive in our private shuttle to the Selati Game Reserve, a private game reserve in the Greater Kruger area. We will spend our first 10 nights in Selati, a special conservation area for its large number of rhinos, the predator research teams on the reserve, the 24/7 protected endangered Lily Cycad hills, the vulture restaurant, and more. We enjoy our stay on Selati at the EcoTraining camp above the beautiful Selati river. It is an unfenced camp in a big 5 reserve, where elephants, rhinos, nyalas and more, commonly roam through camp. We’ll get back to the elements as we stay in canvas dome tents. The camp is solar-powered, and we will make use of shared ablution blocks. It is a beautiful, wild, connected place and we absolutely love it.
While in the lowveld area, and totally dependent on how many interns sign up, we will participate in a hands-on conservation initiative of either rhino dehorning, elephant collaring or wild dog collaring for GPS tracking. In the event that we have a minimum of 8 participants, the interns will participate and document the experience.
After our time in Selati is complete, we will hop aboard our private shuttle to the Waterberg biosphere where we will spend 4 evenings at another Game Reserve, where we will visit The Rhino Orphanage (TRO), and see first-hand the impact of the rhino poaching crisis. TRO is the world’s first rhino-only orphanage and was founded as a response to the brutal poaching crisis.
On the 15th Day, we will board our private shuttle back to OR Tambo and say farewell.
How to Apply:
Thank you for your interest in our one-of-a-kind program!
To apply, please email the following to Kate Ochsman, our Project Leader, and Y4AW 2014 intern at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- CV or resume
- Links to any of your related work in the field
- A cover letter expressing why this is meaningful to you and how you want to help wildlife and our planet through your skill set
The final step will be to set up a phone interview, and Kate will coordinate that.
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