Two students from the Umzi Wethu conservation training academy in Port Elizabeth now have a better view on conservation thanks to the donation of glasses from Spec-Savers.
Emelda Eachells and Sigqibo Manene received their spectacles from Spec-Savers Greenacres on Friday, April 05, 2013.
Spec-Savers is a long-term sponsor of the Wilderness Foundation’s Umzi Wethu skills development and job placement programme.
“Thanks to the sponsorship, we are able to send all of the Umzi Wethu students for free testing and evaluation. Most of the students have never visited an optometrist before, and don’t know that they have eye problems,” says Umzi Wethu conservation programme manager, Lincoln Meyer. “Spec-Savers supplies the students with free eyewear, and continues to ensure that the students have essential eye care throughout the year.”
The sponsorship helps the students concentrate better on their written studies, as well as being able to spot wildlife when doing their practical training in the mountains of Somerset East.
“I am delighted with the wonderful vision and mandate of the Wilderness Foundation in regards to conservation of our beautiful nature integrated with holistic social intervention of our youth,” says Spec-Savers optometrist, Estelle Bruwer. “Developing leaders and investing in the next generation with a vision of conservation and restoring purpose and destiny in their lives falls right in place with our calling on earth. We are therefore privileged to have the opportunity to invest and aid in the restoring of sight and hope of these talented young individuals from the Umzi Wethu Academy.”
Headed up by the Wilderness Foundation of South Africa, Umzi Wethu is a one year, social development and intervention programme for displaced and socially vulnerable youth (those who have lost one or both parents, are child headed households or live in households with no formal income).
The Umzi Wethu hospitality academy is based in Port Elizabeth, while the conservation academy is run in Somerset East.
According to director of Social Programmes for the Wilderness Foundation, Pinky Kondlo, “the goal of Umzi Wethu is to fulfil the employability potential of resilient, motivated youth who have been displaced by HIV/Aids and poverty.”
Umzi Wethu is one of the most successful social intervention projects in South Africa and won the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2008.