South African Goodwill Association (SAGA)

A. South African Goodwill Association

As the South African Goodwill Group is a small group it was decided to join the organising committee, together with several environmental groups, in hosting Dr Ian McCallum on a three and a half day visit to Pietermaritzburg, Hilton, Howick and Ashburton in KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr McCallum is Director of Environmental Education and Leadership Projects for the Wilderness Foundation. He is also an adjunct professor focussing on ecological leadership at the NelsonMandelaMetropolitanUniversityBusinessSchool in Port Elizabeth, a specialist wilderness guide, author and poet. His professional training is that of a medical doctor, analytical psychologist and psychiatrist.

Dr McCallum had recently returned from an epic conservation trek in the ‘Tracks of Giants” of over 5164 kilometres through six southern African countries travelling on foot, bicycles and in kayaks in the historical tracks of migrating elephant clusters. The team spent time talking to communities and “giants” of conservation along the way. The project aimed to highlight the need to create conservation-related solutions that will assist grass-roots communities in developing a sustainable relationship with their environment, raise the need for corridor conservation and trans-frontier parks and promote more understanding about the coexistence of humans with wild animals.

During his visit, he spoke to educators and facilitators working with the youth and children, with conservationists, the local Chamber of Commerce members, school children, adult educators, members of the public and a large group of senior citizens who gave him a standing ovation after his talk and slide show. He inspired large and small audiences by imparting his vision on the animal-human interface, and his visit was highly successful.

Due to the availability of Dr McCallum and of the learners still at school before the schools closed for the December holidays, this event was organised for early in November 2012. SAGA’s participation was in lieu of the New Group of Servers’ Festival Week starting from the 21st of December 2012.