Our Unearthed Community Leaders Program
Why We Do What We Do
The focus of the Unearthed Community Leader Program is to help develop youth from rural communities around our protected areas. This takes the form of social entrepreneurship which creates economic opportunities that can support their personal and broader community needs (financial, social and environmental). This has direct environmental benefits in the sense that humans are part of the ecosystem and supporting socio-economic outcomes has a clear, well-documented link to environmental outcomes. People’s socio-economic needs and environmental needs are intricately intertwined. At it’s most basic level Unearthed is about inspiring young individuals who want to start a social enterprise, a business that does more than just make money, people who want to help others, who want to make our planet a better place in their own small way. Our focus is around actualising the Global Sustainable Development Goals and building future environmental leaders who can help create new, innovative solutions to current challenges in their communities.
Our unearthed community leaders program is a funded program undertaken in partnership with the Wilderness Leadership School, the Kenchaan Foundation and numerous other local partners. The program aims to alleviate conservation challenges around protected natural areas by dealing with important social challenges such as poverty and unemployment. The Unearthed Community Leaders Program takes young, talented people from rural communities adjacent to protected areas and nature reserves and helps them craft a new future for themselves as social entrepreneurs. Creating their own livelihoods and supporting their communities. What we have learned from this program is nothing short of amazing.
At it’s most basic level Unearthed is about inspiring young individuals who want to start a social enterprise, a business that does more than just make money, people who want to help others, who want to make our planet a better place in their own small way, people who follow a bigger calling. Our focus is around actualising the Global Sustainable Development Goals and building future environmental leaders who can help create new, innovative solutions to current challenges. The Wilderness Trail kick starts this journey, opens up conservation thinking, Unearthed supports participants further on the journey further down this road.
The Wilderness Experience
The Wilderness Trail component of the program is a powerful experience for all our participants and represents the “start of their journey” and reimagining their futures. The experience provides a powerful platform for starting a conservation conversation as well as helping program participants reach a point where they can aspire to a better, brighter future. Post the trail experience, participants undergo formal business training to begin the process of building their own futures. These trail experiences are facilitated by Ian Read and Scelo Mbatha who have a collectively have decades of experience as Wilderness Guides, leading trails for business leaders, individuals and groups from all walks of life. Ian Read explains the "mechanics" of a trail experience in this video