Driven to succeed

The Endangered Wildlife Trust is committed not only to preserving the future of our most treasured species and spaces, but to nurturing future conservationists too.
Thabang Teffo is one such individual, who has excelled while studying for a BSc (Molecular and Life Sciences) at the University of Limpopo, and who shows leadership skills and a true passion for conservation combined with a good understanding of the interconnected nature of biodiversity. After Thabang took the initiative to approach the EWT for assistance, he was granted a partial bursary towards his ongoing studies and academic material. He explains how it all came about: “It all started when I attended a talk by Kirsty Brebner, EWT Rhino Project Manager, at Country Club Johannesburg. After attending the talk, I came back to the university and gave a presentation about this experience to my fellow students and supervisors in our parasitology lab. I realised that other students would benefit from attending such talks and sat down with my supervisors to get the go ahead to invite Kirsty to come and give a talk in our department. I also approached the EWT’s CEO, Yolan Friedmann, to request assistance with funding for my studies, and was so thrilled when my good academic performance resulted in this request being granted! I am so happy and grateful to have been given this privilege!”

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In his spare time, Thabang likes to read books and articles, and can often be found helping postgraduate students and his supervisors in the parasitology lab at the university. He also likes to attend talks and presentations by other organisations such as the Bird Club in Polokwane. He is inspired by Bill Gates, although Gates is neither a researcher nor a scientist, because he aspires to that kind of success and believes in doing what will benefit people collectively rather than individually. He goes on to say: “Young people should focus more on their future through education, should learn to take the initiative, and should stand up for themselves by being independent.”

Thabang intends on enrolling for his BSc Honours (Zoology) at the University of Limpopo in 2017, and has already decided on the focus of his Honours project, which is titled ‘Diversity and occurrence of road kill birds in Limpopo province’. After this, he is aiming to obtain his MSc and PhD, and according to him, “do lots of research and become one of the best and most famous researchers in the world!” We think he’s definitely got the talent and drive to make this happen!

Can you or your organisation help us to make a difference in the lives of more young conservationists? The EWT Bursary Fund is intended to offer support for needy and deserving students. Contributions to this fund offer B-BBEEE scorecard points and tax incentives. We urgently need more donors to help nurture young people’s hearts and minds! Let’s help the next generation continue to put conservation into action.

Belinda Glenn, Communication and Brand Manager
BelindaG@ewt.org.za

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