Ranger Rick Magazine
The aim of Wild Shots Outreach (WSO) is to engage previously disadvantaged young Africans in wildlife and conservation through photography. Founded in 2015, this award-winning South African NGO prioritises government high school students and unemployed youngsters living adjacent to Africa’s National Parks. Despite living within a few kilometres of Protected Areas, these young people have never visited a wilderness area before or seen wildlife at first-hand. How will we save Africa’s wildlife and wild places if there is a complete disconnect with the local communities?
Wild Shots Outreach teaches new skills, providing a “focus” and introduction to the natural world and helps raise the aspirations of these learners – the conservationists of tomorrow.
In addition, WSO is supporting young people from these communities in accessing training, further studies and employment through its Bursary Fund.
The University of Johannesburg undertook a 3 year research project, evaluating the impact of Wild Shots Outreach in local communities “Conservation, education and capacity building through photography, published in 2023 by Dr Stephanie Klarman, See summary.
Wild Shots Outreach work has been recognised with a number of national and international awards, including Gold in the Global Good Awards, for Community Partnerships, 2022: Wild Shots Outreach demonstrates real innovation and creativity. Tackling a number of problems with one project this is delivering great outcomes from a relatively small-scale operation that clearly strikes a chord with its target audience. This programme has identified individual rising stars. It is not just creating livelihoods for disadvantaged youth; it is turning them into leaders and role models.”
Our core programme work focuses on the impoverished communities bordering Kruger National Park in South Africa.