Following our last report, we wanted to bring you a testimonial from Kutullo himself on his experiences with GVI as a national scholar in Limpopo:
My journey started a long time ago, when I was still in primary school. GVI used to visit our school every week and teach us about the natural world and the animals around us. It was then that I fell in love with the wild and wanted to learn as much as I could.
At the end of the school year GVI ran a competition for all of the children in my school to have the chance of going on a game drive, around the Karongwe reserve. I couldn’t believe it when my team won! I had never been on a game drive – even though where I lived was surrounded by game parks. In fact none of my family has ever gone on a game drive – I was going to be the very first one!
Arriving at the GVI base we were greeted by the staff and then helped onto the GVI trucks. I clearly remember the excitement of travelling through the reserve with my classmates and wondering what we would see. We saw lots of antelope and were lucky enough to see two male cheetah too.
It was at that moment I felt that I had just found my ‘soul’. I fell in love with the animals on Karongwe and knew that one day I wanted to work as a guide when I finished school.
After I finished High School I joined Daktari Bush School to learn more about our natural world for eighteen months. It was towards the end of this that I was lucky to have another breakthrough in August 2013, I was accepted by GVI as a National Scholar to attend the Karongwe Wildlife Research program for 12 weeks.
That was literally the most exciting 12 weeks of my life. I learnt so much about wildlife, tracking game, the environment and managed to get my FGASA Level 1 Nature Guide Qualification. I felt I was well on my way to achieving my dream of becoming a guide.
My study and hard work paid off when GVI offered me a role as a Research Assistant. That was truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt I finally achieved my childhood dream when I took my first game drive. Now I get the chance to introduce people to the amazing wildlife of Karongwe – just like GVI did for me when I was a child.
Kutullo's journey has only been possible through your support so thank you.
All the best
GVI South Africa
We are very excited to report that we have our first scholar from our partnership with Young People Without Borders, a section of the Federation of Young Australians!
Tys is a 17 year old, soon to be high school graduate from Australia who has been selected to volunteer on childcare projects in Nepal for 6 months in 2015. Tys is an aspiring journalist looking to use his skills to spark change in less fortunate parts of our world.
"I basically came across this program through High Resolves which I did at school. In this program we contributed to the community initially a school action project, where we focused on raising awareness for a clean and sustainable school environment and finally a community action project. We visited and talked to other schools and raised a much higher profile of what we were doing at our own school. At the end of each year, both projects culminated in the High Resolves Summit, where every school taking part in New South Wales came together and shared their projects, as well as listen to some notable speakers about issues relevant to the organisation's plight.
This has been further emphasised by the unique opportunity of having been selected to visit a remote indigenous community in rural NSW, and therefore witness the poverty that takes place in my own country."
I now have the belief that volunteering in a developing country would be the best thing I can do at this point in my life. I have come to have the view that the concept of being a global citizen is of absolute importance."
The National Scholarship Program (NSP) is the flagship initiative for the GVI Charitable Trust providing opportunities and training for disadvantaged individuals to allow personal development, team work, leadership and open up further opportunities. The program is also focused upon creating a sense of responsibility both locally and globally and offering beneficiaries the tools to make a difference to their own lives, their community and impact upon global issues, which we hope will be the case for Tys.
Thank you for your support in making this happen.
GVI Charitable Trust
Exciting news for Jalova hub this month is the start of the National Scholar Program. This program is aimed at developing local people skills, so they can work together with GVI to protect their own region.
Our first scholar, Walter Gonzalez, has been living in Tortuguero for many years, and has worked with Sea Turtle Conservancy for the last two turtle seasons. He is very excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with GVI towards the conservation of Tortuguero National Park, and has been learning all the survey techniques developed in Jalova. The cultural exchange has been beneficial for both volunteers that have been learning Spanish, Caribbean recipes, and the Tico way of life from Walter. Walter meanwhile has been learning new English from his interaction with volunteers and staff alike. Through his experiences here in Jalova, Walter has made friends from all over the world and expanded his opportunities for the future. This is GVI, empowering people to take action through education, cross cultural communication and life changing experiences.
Along with the staff and Walter thirteen new volunteers and interns were trained in Emergency First Responding this month in Jalova. That’s not all that is being learned here in Jalova’s this year, the new volunteers have been learning species identification skills, camera trap techniques, biological survey techniques and community living skills. Some come to Jalova to find out what they want to do in their lives, assist or continue their formal education, and others come simply to try something new in life. Whatever the reason all that come to Jalova learn skills that will last a lifetime.
Thank you for continuing to support this program.
Program/location: Marine Research/ Tovuto Base, Nanuya Lailai, Yasawa
Date on program (month/year) - 24/08/2013 – 20/09/2013
Why did you choose to do a scholarship with GVI?
I chose to do a scholarship with GVI because of the wide range of training that attached to the programme itself. This includes basic taxonomic for underwater research, compressor training, offsite expedition training and most importantly the Scuba training (Open & Advance Open Water Certification). This is also one way that I can expose and pass my knowledge of conservation to remote areas in the Yasawas through cross-sharing of information.
How did your scholarship help you achieve your personal and professional goals?
As coming from a background of environment conservation, having these training will enhance the work that I am currently doing and exposed to other areas that I have not been visited before which is the underwater world.Since I am also currently in the initial stages of developing my topic, this training can assist me to be fully equipped before getting my topic of interest which is specifically for under water marine related ecological research thesis.
Has your GVI scholarship helped you develop your career and be more employable? Would you recommend your scholarship from a professional and personal development perspective?
As I had stated before, this scholarship fully equipped me in terms of preparation for further studies and as well as trained me to be more vigilant on my career which is actually the environment conservation. Since I have exposed to marine survey before, obtaining scuba training under this programme provides me an opportunity to further the knowledge and skills to certain dive profile with technicalities.In addition, the scholarship provided an opportunity to live independently with limited resources and again motivate us to be more appreciable with whatever given resources on hand to utilize.
To conclude, I would rather recommend this scholarship from both professional & personal development perspective.
How did you get selected for the GVI National Scholarship Program?
I applied for a job and I was offered to take part in the expedition as part of the National Scholarship program
Did the National Scholarship Program offer you opportunities for personal and career development? Please explain.
Yes, definitively. The expedition helped me to improve my English skills and get to know how the GVI expeditions work which gave me a good insight of the International volunteer world and the opportunity to continue to work with GVI and the conservation sector.
What other opportunities or benefits has the National Scholarship Program offered you?
I made life time friends, I got a job that I love!
How have these opportunities shaped your career or improved your future prospects?
After working in different sectors I was looking for a job where I could apply my diverse background and at the same time where I could develop more skills. I was looking to work for an international organization but in my home country, Mexico. And here I am, after 6 years I continue working with GVI!
What are your future career plans?
To continue working with GVI and do a diploma that would help my current professional development.
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager