Youth 4 Conservation is committed to creating meaningful conservation experiences for youth while ensuring tangible impacts on the ground.
We began with a vision to connect young people, through their schools and youth groups, to immersive conservation experiences in Africa. This provides an opportunity for personal enrichment while also providing direct support to important conservation projects. This is what we call a ‘win-win’!
Global youth are standing up and demanding to be heard.
Youth 4 Conservation provides this generation of critical thinkers with authentic conservation experiences that expose them to the real conflicts, challenges and opportunities that are happening on the ground. In particular, few volunteer programmes cater for under-18s, but this is our forte! Whether you want to travel independently, in small groups, with your parents or with your school, then we are here to make it happen.
The climate crisis and the leadership of Greta Thunberg is a prime example. This generation has the power to boldly engage with our most critical environmental crises.
We believe in adventures
Our partners are organisations that take conservation seriously, whether it is conducting research, contributing to biodiversity, working with communities or building awareness around key conservation challenges. We choose partners who will ensure that the activities of our volunteers mean something on the ground.
All of the activities of our volunteers directly contribute to the conservation goals and objectives of our partners. This is beyond ‘environmental education’, rather encouraging our youth to be active citizens, contributing to something bigger than themselves.
The research is conclusive –
nature is good for you!
Youth 4 Conservation is committed to exposing youth to wild places and creatures that give you the chance to connect to the planet and to yourself. Ideally, our experiences are created to be immersive, multi-day adventures that give you the opportunity to explore and discover.
We try to make our experiences as straight-forward as possible, assisting with all logistics from beginning to end. This means less work for you. While we ask our international volunteers to organise their own flights, we are here for everything else.
“This has been the most enriching and enlightening experience of my life” (Jessica, 17)
THIS IS WHY WE LOVE WHAT WE DO.
Southern African Youth
We feel passionate about exposing young adults in Southern Africa to these adventures on their doorstep. While many schools provide amazing journeys all over the world, we feel strongly that our young people should be involved in the conservation challenges that impact them and their continent.
We have worked hard with our project partners to make our experiences as financially accessible as we can, including offering special rates to the Southern African community. For all our volunteers, we seek to create a balance between a cost-effective adventure and a meaningful contribution to conservation.
We acknowledge that these experiences still cost money and it is a privilege to be able to afford the opportunity. Although it is only the beginning, we allocate a small percentage from the fees of each paying volunteer toward our Outreach programme, which is being built to support the participation of young people from less privileged backgrounds.
Youth 4 Conservation was started by Maria Hauck and her teenage daughter after their search for meaningful and affordable conservation experiences for the youth came up empty handed. Instead of giving up on the dream, they decided to start something themselves, and Youth 4 Conservation was born
Maria is a criminologist. She grew up in Canada, arrived in Cape Town in the mid-1990s, and never left. She spent the next decades working at the University of Cape Town, merging her love of the environment with her academic interests in criminology.
Now she focuses her energy on facilitating the active participation of young adults in conservation. She is inspired by the power and passion of today’s youth and hopes to contribute to the positive impact of this new generation.