Reflecting on 9 Years at GCC

In 2015, we made a promise to a small group of field rangers in Kruger National Park: that we would tell their story to the world. With that promise, the Global Conservation Corps (GCC) was born on the 31st May in Connecticut, USA, out of a hope and a dream. At the time, the dream was RHINO MAN, a feature-length documentary and a movement to tell the story of the brave field rangers protecting the lives of our cherished wildlife every day. It turns out that creating, funding, and distributing a feature-length documentary is no easy feat. Hundreds of donors and thousands of supporters around the world stood by us throughout this journey, keeping the faith that we would be true to our word, that the rangers’ story would be told. We never could have imagined the journey that this work would take us on. But we’re currently preparing to cross that hallowed finish-line, after years of literal blood, sweat, and tears.

We are delighted to announce that on the 26th July, 2024, the entire world will have access to RHINO MAN on Amazon, Apple, Vimeo and a number of other streaming platforms!

That promise we made in 2015 is still our guiding star. But since then, our hopes and dreams have grown exponentially, to spread hope and love for wildlife as far and wide as we can through education, technology, and wildlife experiences.

Global Conservation Corps Turns 9 Years Old

Along the GCC journey, we strengthened our ties with visionary conservationists and leaders in the greater Kruger area. Among this group of partners and friends, we grew and deepened our relationship with Anton Mzimba, the star of RHINO MAN, and the head of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve’s security department. Anton, his team, and his family formed a special place in our hearts, and in 2018 Anton was appointed an advisor to the GCC Board.

Beyond saving rhinos, Anton believed in a greater solution to poaching: that of education and elevating the youth who live next to the boundaries of these areas. With his help, we learned that four out of five youth living next to Kruger had never seen wildlife before. Anton was pivotal in establishing the Future Rangers Program, which in the last eight years has reached thousands of students and connected them to wildlife (often for the first time). As we all know, Anton was murdered for his beliefs and position in anti-poaching on the 26th July, 2022. His vision has not only endured, but strengthened. Next year we will see our first graduating class from the Future Rangers Program. These dedicated students aim to enter the conservation work-force to become local leaders in tourism, conservation, and the greater wildlife economy. Anton’s dream continues to be realized.

Global Conservation Corps Turns 9 Years Old
Global Conservation Corps Turns 9 Years Old

But along the way, there was still an unanswered question that we and our partners across the continent were struggling to answer. How do we measure the impact of our work? How do we know that our programs, funding, inputs, and efforts are having a positive impact? To answer that mythical question, we’ve been developing our education platform, Vumba, over the last four years. After many iterations with our conservation partners, educators, and local community leaders, we are looking forward to launching Vumba with our core partners within the next six weeks. Our vision is to support hundreds of programs across the continent and beyond to deliver high quality digital education to students, while being able to track the long-lasting impact of their programs. Anton always believed that education was the key, and now we have a scalable tool that can unlock the talents and career trajectories of millions.

VUMBA: GCC Conservation Education App

Reaching the nine year mark has taken untold sacrifice, commitment, dedication, loyalty and team-work. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the founding and existing board members who have helped mentor me and our team, guiding our ship through the murky waters of a young startup phase, through CV19, and through tragic loss on multiple levels. We would not be here without the incredible working team who shaped the programs, tools, and approaches to our mission, or the communities who have welcomed us in with open arms to conduct our work.

And lastly, and most importantly, a deep thanks to our supporters, donors, believers, and ambassadors. Without you we would not be here, at all. Without the funding required to pay a team, run the programs, and work towards a better world, GCC would not be possible. I give thanks for being able to live out my passion and to be a part of such a special community who believe in a better world for people and wildlife.

Thank you, always.
Matt Lindenberg

RHINO MAN – Official Trailer and Premiere Launch

RHINO MAN - Official Trailer and Premiere Launch

After what feels like an eternity, we’ve got the news you’ve been waiting for! We’ve just launched the official RHINO MAN trailer (see link above) as we prepare to launch this 9-year project far and wide. To amplify the launch, the cast and crew of RHINO MAN will be traveling to the following key locations to premiere the film:

Premiere Schedule
Hoedspruit, South Africa – 13th June, 2024
New York, United States – 18th June, 2024
Toronto, Canada – 20th June, 2024
Atlanta, United States – 25th June, 2024

For our supporters in the Hoedspruit and Atlanta areas, click on your respective cities to purchase tickets for the premiere events. Get your chance to meet the heroes of the film in person, and to hear first-hand what is being done on the front lines to protect Africa’s endangered wildlife.

To view the RHINO MAN online, we’re launching worldwide on the 26th July, 2024 across Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Vimeo and more. Like, share, follow, and most importantly, watch the film that you’ve helped make happen.

With excitement and gratitude,
John Jurko II & the GCC Team

Happy World Bee Day from our Future Rangers!

Happy World Bee Day from our Future Rangers
Happy World Bee Day from our Future Rangers

This month, our Future Rangers buzzed with excitement as they celebrated World Bee Day!

Our enthusiastic primary school students across Salani, Manyeleti, and Mahlekisana Primary Schools explored the vital role of bees in our ecosystem, learning fascinating facts about these industrious insects.

From the intricate hierarchy within a hive, including the queen bee, male drone bees, and female worker bees, to the mesmerizing bee dance and the sweet rewards of honey, our students immersed themselves in the world of bees.

We capped off the lesson with colorful bee drawings, inspiring creativity and appreciation for these essential pollinators.

Such a fun and educational afternoon for our young Future Rangers!

Thank you so much again to Joni Pierce-van Zyl and the team at Tenthouse Structures! Their Wild Hearts Curriculum has provided such guidance for our lessons and activities!

First Future Ranger Game Drive of 2024:
A Day of Adventure and Celebration

First Future Ranger Game Drive of 2024

Last Friday, our Future Rangers kicked off their first game drive of 2024 at the Southern African Wildlife College, marking an exciting step in their conservation journey. To their delight, they spotted a family of Southern Ground Hornbills for the first time, after learning all about their anatomy and behavior in class.

Before heading into the wild, we had the privilege of attending a field ranger pass-out ceremony. This special event, held right before the game drive, added a wonderful and inspiring touch to the day’s activities.

It was truly heartwarming to see the enthusiasm of the Future Rangers as they joined the celebration. They surprised everyone by singing the ceremonial songs with great spirit and pride. The joy and participation of the students from Dayimane High School, including Ambassadors and Explorers from Grades 8 to 11, highlighted the community spirit and dedication of our young conservationists.

Truly, a game drive to remember.

GCC Team Joins ARRC for Inspiring Educational Outreach in Selwane Village

GCC Team Joins ARRC for Inspiring Educational Outreach in Selwane Village

In May, the GCC team had the wonderful opportunity to be hosted by Animal Relief for Rural Communities (ARRC) at Mohlanatsi Community Centre in Selwane Village.

ARRC’s mission is to improve the lives of domestic animals—mainly dogs, pigs, donkeys, and cattle—and their human companions in rural African communities. They achieve this by working with a local vet and running an educational program for students from Grade R to Grade 11.

We joined the ARRC team as they delivered an engaging lesson on using books to inspire imagination in primary school learners. After the lesson, each learner enjoyed a meal before heading home.

Collaborations like this are invaluable to our work. By sharing ideas and resources, helping each other, and gaining knowledge, we can learn and grow for the greater good of many.

GCC Team Joins ARRC for Inspiring Educational Outreach in Selwane Village

Meet Our Future Ranger of the Month: Sabelo Sibuyi

It is with immense pride and joy that we introduce you to Sabelo Sibuyi, a shining star in our Future Rangers family. Sabelo’s journey is one of courage, curiosity, and compassion, and his impact on our program has been truly remarkable.

“My name is Sabelo Sibuyi. I’m in Grade 9 at Mahlale High School and I’m 15 years old. I was born here in Welverdiend on 07 May 2009.

This is my first year in the Future Rangers Program and so far I feel like I know more about nature and the environment. GCC also brings us motivational speakers from other organizations to come and speak to us about their career paths.

More than our lessons, our facilitators have become like sisters to us – they allow us to cry on their shoulders and share our difficulties. They are always there for us whenever we need them for guidance. Before joining the program, I was afraid of standing in front of people talking. But in the last few months that I’ve become a Future Ranger, I overcame those fears and am now confident to do presentations in front of my peers.

Besides my interest in wildlife and nature, I love playing soccer with my friends. My favorite animal is the lion because it has courage and I’d like to think I’m also brave.

When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. A teacher who will be supporting and taking part in conservation or environmental campaigns. I’ll always be there to show love and care for our environment.”

Stories like that of Sabelo are just a glimpse of the incredible journeys our young conservationists are embarking on.

If you find inspiration in these tales, consider making a donation. Your support grants you access to an exclusive newsletter for donors, filled with more in-depth stories, updates, and insights into our Future Rangers’ adventures and achievements.

Join us in fostering the next generation of conservation leaders!

Want to stay informed about conservation issues and what
you can do to make an impact?