Animal Care and Agriculture students from Kendal College have started their journey to South America and South Africa thanks to Kaya Travel and the Turing Scheme.
This Easter, 15 students will be undertaking fieldwork in Amazon wildlife conservation, permaculture, and sustainable land management in Ecuador, and seven students will be conducting African savannah ecology fieldwork in Eswatini.
The Turing scheme is a new UK government scheme, launched in April 2021, that supports Global Britain and provides funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. Specifically for further education and vocational education, this scheme looks to provide practical training within different vocational and academic subject areas in the context of another country and culture. It aims to give learners a unique experience and develop new partnerships and international links. It is a life-changing opportunity to get hands-on experience in a new environment that will benefit their CVs. The skills they gain will bring a unique perspective to their work and help them stand out from the crowd.
Students travelling to Ecuador will be working with a conservation program based in the Amazon rainforest, which focuses on the rescue and release of wild animals recovered by the authorities from wildlife trafficking and domestic situations. Working alongside veterinary professionals and zoologists, the group will spend a week working at a wildlife rescue sanctuary and another week at a field research station, learning about wildlife and habitat conservation issues.
Inigo Bruce, 26, from Lancaster, said:
"This will be an amazing opportunity, and I'm extremely excited to be given a chance to experience a whole new culture while working in the field. I'm more than grateful to be going on this adventure of a lifetime!"
Ciara Towers, 16, from Barrow-in-Furness, said:
"I am so excited and thankful to be able to go on this upcoming trip. I really think it will help with my education and knowledge of animals."
Other students will be based on a reserve in the Cloud Forest region of Ecuador's Andes. They will participate in a training course focused on sustainable farming, agricultural practices and environmentally sustainable land management techniques.
Katie MacDonald, 17, from Penrith, said:
"It will be amazing to immerse myself in another culture and visit the 2nd highest city in the world!"
Students travelling to Eswatini will join a research station in Mbuluzi Game reserve, focusing on African Savannah conservation. They will train in research techniques and land management. Living at the research station, in one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, students will participate in monitoring, reptile and avian research and training with local Swazi environmental scientists.
Sarah Neill, Lecturer in Animal Management who is accompanying the students to the Amazon, said:
"This is such an amazing opportunity for our learners. They will experience different cultures and astonishing wild places first-hand, put the theory and knowledge they have learned in the classroom into practice, utilise their skills in the field, and work alongside professionals in different communities in key vocational areas. These trips will really inspire our students to kickstart their conservation careers!"