Earth Day 2015 and ISV in South Africa

by isvolunteers on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

With Earth Day on the 22nd of April, ISV’s  South Africa Project Manager, Jaclyn Stephenson, reflects on some of the ways ISV volunteers are making a big difference on her favorite place on the planet…

Mandela Creche, proudly completed by ISV volunteers and Volunteer Africa 32 degrees South (c) ISV.


Cheetah mound relaxation

Cheetah cub (c) ISV

Earth Day is a global event that both celebrates our planet and increases awareness about the importance of looking after, respecting and loving our natural environment. With its nine natural biomes and high numbers of endemic animal and plant species, South Africa has much to celebrate on this day – but with celebration comes local and international responsibilities, as much of our natural surroundings and many of our flagship species are threatened and seriously vulnerable.

Through traveling to South Africa with ISV, you’ll contribute to sustainable projects and become more aware of the way you impact the earth. In celebrating Earth Day’s 45th anniversary, here are two examples of South Africa’s projects that are taking action when it comes to protecting our planet:

Ann van Dyk Shingwedzi Dewildt – Conservation Project

Thank you

ISV volunteers had the privilege to meet Ann van Dyk, internationally recognised for her work in cheetah breeding and conservation (c) ISV.

Due to urbanization, mining and overpopulation, species like the cheetah and wild dog (African painted dog) are vulnerable. Their numbers are at dangerously low levels in the wild.

This project’s major goal is to help breed and maintain a diverse genetic pool for the cheetah so that future generations are not impaired. The project also rehabilitates other species (such as vultures, hyenas and leopard) that are found in poaching traps and snares, or who are poisoned by humans. Ann Van Dyk Shingwedzi Dewildt is a fine example of humans looking after, respecting and loving their natural world, with ISV volunteers all working hard to maintain enclosures, preserve reserves and assist local vets in health care!

VA32 Township to Village – Community Development Project

Kids at Mandela Creche, enjoying the results of the achievements by ISV volunteers in support of local partner, VA32 (c) ISV

South Africa not only has a diverse environment, but also beautiful people and unique cultures within various provinces. There are areas of wealth and areas of impoverishment. The poorest and most underdeveloped of our provinces is the Eastern Cape, where access to education, sanitation, food security and health care is extremely limited.


A local kid from Chintsa, South Africa. Children around the world have a human right to access quality education and it’s humbling to be part of the process in a small yet meaningful way (c) ISV

With our community development project in Chintsa, Eastern Cape, we not only assist with building schools and installing sanitation and health care facilities, we also work towards constructively assisting households and schools with self sustaining gardens, natural play areas and outdoor classrooms. This aims to educate children so they are invested in the long-term care for their natural environment and allows them to enjoy, love and respect nature.

What do we all need to do, regardless of where you live?

Now more than ever, it is critical that we mobilize our communities to protect the Earth. Together!

  • ISV volunteering for the betterment of Earth’s numerous species! (c) ISV

    We need take action in our homes and communities to reduce our carbon footprint and recycle our waste.

  • We need to protect nature and the wildlife that inhabits it.
  • We need to unite our voices in a call for a sustainable future and demand action from our leaders.
  • We need to be the catalysts for change.

Can you think of ways you can make a positive impact this Earth Day?

To learn more about ISV’s global impacts and our programs, please visit our website and inquire today.

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