Nature Connect was founded with the main focus being the exposing of youth to the outdoors whilst at the same time providing them with environmental education. By far the majority of children come from impoverished communities on the Cape Flats who, despite living nestled between the Table Mountain national Park and the Hottentots Holland Mountain ranges, have never visited these areas nor been exposed to the natural environment. Many of these children live in abject poverty and are exposed to crime and violence on a daily basis and where the environment is far from daily consideration. We capacitate the children to live sustainably in their communities in light of global environmental issues such as pollution and water scarcity. Given the struggling education system we also focus the programmes on supporting life sciences, numeracy and literacy elements within the national curriculum.
The other arm of Nature Connect is the Nature Care Fund which focuses on providing conservation management expertise to the City of Cape Towns’ Biodiversity Management Branch to assist in the conservation of the many small conservation areas that make up the Biodiversity Network. This capacity is mainly funded through NGOs. In addition, we run a skills development programme in partnership with the City of Cape Town for the up-skilling of people from the local communities to develop them to follow a career in conservation.