Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative
Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative (EESI) is a social responsibility focused project, supported by, and undertaken in conjunction with, the Mauerberger Foundation.
The EESI project supports young leaders, of exceptional ability, who are already realising outcomes that advance environmental sustainability and who are at a point in their careers where they will benefit from support that enhances their leadership capacities.
The young leaders supported thus far in the programme fall into the following groups:
- Young Professionals
- Developing Professionals
- Young leaders
1. Young Professionals
The Young Professionals supported by the programme include:
Five young women, working at Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), who are at a turning point in their careers. They were given time out from normal daily activities, to reflect and develop skills which allowed them to greatly improve the work they are engaged in and to reach new levels of both vision and accomplishment. The areas of engagement include water resource use, sea food consumption and sustainable agriculture. Through the opportunity provided by EESI they were able to consolidate lessons learnt, to undertake targeted coaching and to enhance and develop affective strategies for change to bring about ecological sustainability. The recipients of the funding were Janine Basson, Inge Kotze, Natasha Wilson, Tatjana von Bormann and Helen Gordon.
Another young professional supported by the programme is Happy Khambule who is an active environmental advocate at Project 90 by 2030, with a degree in law. He is a motivated young South African, and from very early on, has proactively immersed himself in the environmental sector. He has a strong interest in bringing about change by shaping South Africa’s environmental policies - specifically in policies that pertain to climate change and energy. He received mentoring while working as Policy & Research Coordinator at Project 90 by 2030 - a change-focused environmental organisation. The time out provided by this programme allowed him to build his knowledge base and capacity in the policy arena.
2. Developing Professionals
Developing Professionals in 2016 include:
Khanyiswa Zangqa works as communications manager and youth leader at Beyond Environmental Expectation Programme (BEEP). Through the EESI programme, she is being mentored to develop further skills in motivational speaking at schools. Her aim is to encourage youth to act as advocates for bringing about environmental change.
View Khanyiswa talking about the importance of looking after the environment and green gardening in this video on Youtube >>>
Neoka Naidoo at Project 90 by 2030 is engaged in environmental advocacy. She has a strong interest in policy development as an approach in addressing pertinent global issues, namely energy and climate change.
Neoka completed 6 months as an EESI fellow. This allowed her to fast-track her development as a policy communicator and she will soon be taking up a consultation position for young women at the United Nations.
During her EESI fellowship, among other activities, she was able to undertake a creative writing course offered by Get Smarter which allowed her to further develop her skills in policy communication.
Neoka has grown from strength to strength with the freedom to explore a variety of communication tools as well as building on her already vast knowledge of the climate change arena. The EESI fellowship has been a positive attribute to Neoka's portfolio of skills that she will adapt to her future endeavours.
3. Young leaders:
Currently 40 young leaders engaged with Beyond Environmental Expectation Project (BEEP) are being encouraged to build capacity to undertake mentoring roles and advocacy as part of BEEP’s programme. They are receiving peer to peer training and tutoring.
The aim of the EESI mentorship programme is to assist young learners to develop and improve communication skills; group work skills; techniques to engage children in discussions; report writing ability; motivational ability; computer skills; assessment skills and environmental knowledge. The mentors in turn use these skills to mentor others.
The projects involved in the programme are:
Beyond Expectation Environmental Project is a grassroots for youth by youth environmental organization, which educates youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds on environmental Issues whilst simultaneously tackling some of the many social issues faced in their communities.
BEEP uses environmental experiential learning on Table Mountain National Park in order to awaken and sustain young peoples' interest and concern for the environment. Every weekend BEEP aims to take 20 young learners from different Primary Schools, High Schools and Community Organizations on two-day excursions on Table Mountain, making them aware of the beautiful natural environment that surrounds them whilst they learn about environmental as well as social Issues.
Picture: BEEP Table Mountain Camp
Project 90 by 2030 works with individuals, organisations, and decision makers to identify actions that can reduce their impact on the environment. Their specific foci in pushing for low-carbon actions in South Africa is centred on developing environmental leadership in youth, enhancing energy and water security in communities and to advocate for, and support the involvement of South Africans in the transition to an equitable, low-carbon society.
Picture: Project 90 by 2030 Youth Camp
WWF South Africa aims to effectively conserve biodiversity and wildlife, and to protect natural environments. WWF works with government, businesses and civil society to encourage people to be more environmentally responsible.
WWF South Africa’s integrated strategy is underpinned by three primary goals to ensure that South Africa’s biodiversity is conserved and that our footprint remains within the Earth’s capacity to sustain life; they aim to secure the integrity of South Africa's ecological assets; ensure that ecosystem services underpin social and economic well-being; and build climate resilience.