As part of our commitment to our social responsibility vision, we also partner with established local development organisations. These include the Umzi Wethu Academy, a not-for-profit social intervention programme.
Under the auspices of the Wilderness Foundation, the Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth is based on an award-winning and dynamic intervention model. The model relies on the economic promise of the ecotourism and hospitality sectors to tackle the cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS head-on with skills development and job placement for some of the most vulnerable members of society – youth on the verge of adulthood.
Umzi Wethu offers skills development and job placement to youths who, despite incredibly adverse circumstances, have shown resilience and ambition. Denied opportunities to access training and jobs due to circumstances generally beyond their control, Umzi Wethu transforms these youths, many of whom have been orphaned as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, into highly employable young adults. One of the pillars of the development programme is finding placements for Umzi graduates, to extend their learning and mentoring opportunities in the workplace. During their placement period, students continue to be monitored, mentored and counselled by Umzi staff. This is a key factor in the high success rate for the programme, relative to other programmes which do not have the resources or skills to track and support their students after graduation.
Lion Roars is proud to partner with Umzi Wethu in providing placement opportunities for Umzi graduates. The Umzi team members we have worked with over the years are remarkable young people, and it's a privilege to play a part in this work.