Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is registered in South Africa as a section 21 company.
Malcolm McCulloch is currently a non-executive Director of Wilderness Safaris Holdings and the Director of Carlmac Steel Group, its subsidiaries and of Desbro Group in Botswana and Mauritius. In addition Malcolm is also a Director of Masimba Holdings and Proplastics Limited in Zimbabwe.
A qualified Chartered Accountant, Malcolm started out at St Andrews College in Grahamstown and then pursued his tertiary studies at the University of Cape Town. He also attended the Advanced Management Programme at Wharton in Pennsylvania, USA.
Malcolm has a keen interest in cycling and participates in several charitable challenges on an annual basis. He is dedicated to conserving and caring for the environment. He has been involved with Children in the Wilderness since its formation in 2001.
Leoné Jooste grew up in a civic-minded family, exposed to a number of charities and their needs from an early age. As Administrator of the Hope Trust, she is responsible for all aspects of running the Trust, which focuses on and financially supports various intervention programmes for children who are differently abled.
In 2008, Leoné, in partnership with Cotlands, CHOC Children’s Cancer Foundation South Africa, Reach For A Dream Foundation and Hope Trust, founded the Just Footprints Foundation, an outdoor fun camp initiative for children living with serious health, life challenges and disabilities. She is currently the Chairperson of the Foundation.
Her interest in children’s camp programmes was ignited by Children in the Wilderness’ original collaboration with The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (now called SeriousFun Children’s Network). Just Footprints Foundation is a member of its Global Partnership Programme, which fosters international networks across beneficiary children’s organisations for learning collaboration, resource allocation and sharing.
Jan Mallen’s passion lies in management and mentorship of teaching staff while building and sustaining open lines of communication within the parent community. She was the Headmistress of Rodean School for over 10 years.
Jan’s educational experience includes curriculum development, and work on the acquisition of numeracy, literacy and thinking skills in children. She encourages ongoing personal development of global perspectives in learning and education. She is also involved in sourcing and developing early literacy programmes for schools and communities. In addition to her interest in helping children succeed in life, Jan enjoys travelling, hiking and a variety of bush experiences.
Dr Sue Snyman is the Senior Programme Officer for the Conservation Areas and Species Diversity Programme at the IUCN, coordinating the Eastern and Southern African region’s Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme. Prior to this position she worked for Wilderness Safaris for ten years in various roles, including Regional Programme Director for Children in the Wilderness, Group Sustainability Manager and Group Community and Culture Manager. Sue has a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town, with the focus of her research on the socio-economic impact of tourism and conservation on rural communities living in and around protected areas. Other roles include Vice-Chair of the IUCN Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group and coordinator of the Communities & Heritage Working Group within TAPAS.
“The first thing that came to mind was the Baba Dioum quote: ‘In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we’re taught’. For me that is what is so important – teaching people so that they understand, will then love and also conserve. We can’t love or look after what we either don’t know about or know about but don’t understand the importance of it.”
Mike White is the Chief Audit Executive at the Standard Bank Group overseeing the Internal Audit function for the Group. Prior to banking, Mike was an entrepreneur and consultant in sustainability and environmental solutions while also serving as a Partner and Business Unit leader at a Big Four firm in South Africa.
He has 20 years of experience in the application of Information Technology and analysis of IT risks, as well as the application of Governance and Assurance. Mike’s keen interest in conservation and education led him to serve and support Children in the Wilderness through fundraising initiatives, such as Tour de Tuli, for which he has been volunteering for many years in various roles such as route planning, motorbike support and leading cyclist groups.
“Supporting children in the wilderness gives me hope for the long term future of the world’s natural areas and wildlife. People only protect what we love and understand, so it’s critical to equip today’s children with that love and understanding to be the custodians and protectors in the future.”
Grant Woodrow is Wilderness Safaris’ Chief Operating Officer (COO), managing the Group’s southern Africa operations. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of Wilderness Safaris’ operations and in turn provides immense support to the company’s regional offices and in-country Managing Directors.
His long-held interest in wildlife and the environment led him to developing the Wilderness Safaris Botswana Environmental Division in 2000. In this role, he had the opportunity to manage various ecological projects, including the reintroduction of rhino into the Okavango Delta. His work on Wilderness Safaris’ Environmental Minimum Standards set a benchmark for future standards within the tourism industry in Botswana.
Grant has worked in various operational positions, including Managing Director of Wilderness Safaris Botswana and Managing Director of the Botswana Group, including Wilderness Air and Northern Air Maintenance. In addition, he is directly involved with local communities and all tourism-related operations. Before relocating to South Africa, he was Chairman of Children in the Wilderness Botswana.
“Sustainability in all its facets forms the foundation to our business. I have been directly involved with CITW since its inception having managed the Botswana business for a number of years. I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact CITW has had on the surrounding communities and how this has changed the mindset of the community members towards our business and the environment. It is critical that we continue to make meaningful impacts to the lives on the children in rural areas and I intend to play a meaningful role in achieving this. Without community beneficiation from tourism, tourism has no future in Africa.”