Here at the African Impact Greater Kruger Area Projects, we have our own Scottish beauty Lorna, who is a woman of strength, humility and care.
As our Community and Project Manager she is always busy in one way or another but will always make time for anyone that needs to talk. She loves to make use of mind maps as she develops new projects and brainstorms ways to make the projects come to life.
She uses her incredible talent for retaining information, which got her into the top 5% of girls’ computer programming in Scottish schools, to make sure everything at the lodge goes smoothly. And just like the black rhinos that she loves she pushes through any challenge to emerge with a smile and joke to brighten the day.
Working near the Kruger National Park probably means your office isn’t quite like typical offices around the world?
Absolutely not – our projects here are based from Dumela Lodge; an amazing volunteer accommodation on a private game reserve near the Kruger National Park. From my window where I work I can see out into the courtyard of the lodge, which is full of trees and beautiful plants, so it's a very peaceful place to work and it's great to be surrounded by nature.
You’ve been involved with African Impact for a long while now so you must have some amazing memories! What’s been your highlights?
Before I began working for our Kruger projects, I used to work for our St Lucia (Zululand) projects and really enjoyed being able to set up and manage their education project, which included setting up educational support at a local primary school in the village. We were then able to offer homework assistance, conservation education and a library club. I was also a part of a Mothers Support Group in the nearby Zulu villages and played a big role in creating a group savings initiatives, which gave them a huge savings pot for insurance and allowed them to start their own vegetable garden.
More recently at our Kruger community project, my highlight has been being involved in the building of Eco Children’s (our partners) Eco Village (school vegetable gardens), as well as also setting up educational support for local children.
If you could give any advice for volunteers coming to join the Kruger projects, what would it be?
- Throw yourself into the projects - you get as much out as you put in.
- Appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day and learn as much as you can about wildlife, the eco-system, people and appreciate your place and impact on all of these.
Finally, two truths, one lie (Answers below!):
- At school I won an award for achieving one the best exam result in Home Economics
- I volunteered in India for 3 months on an HIV awareness campaign
- I hitchhiked to Morocco from the UK in 3 days and 4 nights 1 lie
- Lie (It was actually in IT!)