REPORT: THANDA RESERVE RESEARCH PROJECT WITH AFRICAN IMPACT (Sept.2011) Over the past five years I had witnessed volunteer organisations flourishing around the world and observed volunteers being abused in the D.R.C. where I was living. About 8 weeks ago I decided it was time for me to understand what I considered as the new world business and experience what volunteering was all about. I chose the African Impact Research Project in the Thanda Reserve in South Africa because the project focuses on conservation. It took me only a few days to get completely involved in the work being conducted in the reserve. What I’ve learned is amazing. Indeed ‘conservation’ the way African Impact approaches it is, according to me, ideal: together with the local population, African Impact volunteers clear up a large area (14 hectares) where wild endangered animals can roam freely and safely by removing human remains like fences, old farm buildings, by introducing animals and measuring the impact of the new animals on the nature and therefore ensuring balance in the reserve. All the staff and the volunteers were committed to the welfare and safety of the animals and shared a common belief in a brighter future for African wildlife and people. After 4 weeks I’m convinced that bringing together people from different ages, different nationalities, different cultural and social background but sharing common values, works wonders. In Thanda I’ve met wonderful, respectful, caring and open minded people and I encourage anyone to share once in their life this extraordinary and fascinating experience. 25th Sept.2011 Chantal JACQUES – DRC.