Ground-up Community Development

DAKTARI strives to work from the ground up, focusing on direct impact and local community development. Many of our students often return to Daktari through our internship program. Our Internship Program helps local youth develop their CVs through work experience and professional skills development.

Freedom Sibiya is a former DAKTARI student who returned through our Internship Program because he had a passion for wildlife and the bush. Our team at DAKTARI kept in touch with this young man, as we do with all our former students, and during the COVID-19 lockdown, he volunteered to come and help us at the camp to do maintenance work and assist with the animals.

Freedom was kind, hardworking, dedicated, and passionate, and proved himself to be a wonderful asset to us all. He soon became part of the family and because of his dedication and passion, we wanted to help empower this young man to fulfill his dreams.

A meeting between the South African Wildlife College and Freedom was organized so that he could enroll in their year-long training program.
Freedom was given the opportunity to write the entrance exam which he passed and he was enrolled! His dreams were coming true!

Here is a letter from him to Michele:

ground up community development“Dear Michele
Saying “thank you” is not enough for me to express how grateful I am for your support over the years. You are my mentor, and everything I have achieved to date is because of you. This is an appreciation note for a person who is all three – great boss, mentor, and manager. Your guidance and advice have been invaluable to me since I joined Daktari. I can’t thank you enough for all the help that you’ve bestowed upon me.
Stay safe.

Best regards,
Freedom Sibiya”


We are so proud of Freedom and look forward to watching his progress over the next few years.