The ASF is committed to the upliftment of communities through various programmes and initiatives. In addition to creating practical training modules and learning tools, the ASF continues to be involved in providing support for youth to attend tourism-related training courses.
The organisation recently completed the #8Film Project, a training programme with the ‡Khomani San community teaching the youth about various aspects of digital storytelling. The programme included modules on telling stories, basic camerawork and filming, scripting and editing and resulted in the community producing eight quality films on ‡Khomani San living heritage. This ASF aims to roll out this training programme to the youth in areas where the ASF is involved in tourism and community initiatives.
The ASF is particularly proud of its training initiatives that have seen 140 youth, the vast majority of them being women, from local communities in the ASF’s project areas participating in one-year, fully supported nature guiding and hospitality courses. Many graduates have gone on to find employment in tourism close to the areas where they live.
In 2012 The South African National Lotteries Commission provided a grant to the ASF to help professionalise and transform nature-guiding in South Africa. The programme addressed the lack of transformation, inadequate entry-level qualifications and education deficits that hamper young rural students’ entry into the profession. This led to the South African Government’s Quality Council for Training and Occupations prioritising nature guiding as one of the first professions to have a training framework formalised under the new system.
The ASF has designed and presented training programmes and workshops to the Concessions Unit of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the SA Wildlife College and South African National Parks.