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Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

WYSE Archives

Service Learning and Community Engagement in the Developing World: A Responsible Approach

Barry Rawlings, Charl Ackermann, Sean Anderson, EduAfrica


Youth travel is currently experiencing an explosion of interest in short-term study abroad and foreign service opportunities (volunteering and internship). This has resulted in dramatic growth, both in the number of providers offering opportunities and those taking them up. Many of the communities receiving visitors find themselves in a socially and culturally vulnerable position.

This webinar demonstrates how and why host cultures are so vulnerable, the harm that can inadvertently be caused and examines some of the considerations in ensuring that engagement is mutually beneficial. Sean Anderson, chairman of the award winning and community owned Naboisho conservancy in Kenya, will share a practical example of a new and sustainable model which promises to facilitate the kind of positive engagement that we should all be aspiring to.



Barry Rawlings – Managing Director

Barry graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from the University of Cape Town. Following on from his studies with the South African Institute of Financial Markets, he became a registered trader on the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges. He is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Before taking on a role as the General Manager for Edutours Africa, he worked as a Service Centre Manager for Old Mutual in Cape Town, South Africa.

Based in Harare, Barry takes great pleasure in leading the Edutours Africa team. “I am often asked why I have moved from my home town of Cape Town to Zimbabwe. Well, in many senses no city beats Cape Town, but Zimbabwe has other benefits and has equally won my heart. The people, open spaces and community life here are incredible. This feels like ‘real’ Africa and, for me anyway, it feels somehow easier to make a meaningful contribution. I am in love with Africa and count the opportunity to introduce others to this continent and its people an absolute privilege. I am thoroughly enjoying life here with my wife and three young sons.”

Charl Ackermann – Marketing Manager

Charl was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He completed his BA(Hons)Tourism Management Degree at the North West University. After studying, Charl spent 2 years working in London, England before heading back home to South Africa. He joined the Edutours Africa family in our Cape Town office in 2009.

“It’s such a privilege to be part of a team that is actively involved in impacting people’s lives through unique educational experiences in Africa. I believe that curious minds is what drives learning, and there is no better way to drive curiosity than through experiencing the beauty, history and unique diversity that Africa offers.

Sean Anderson – Chairman of the Naboisho conservancy in Kenya

Sean studied Environmental Science/ Economics with the University of Cape Town. He is the Managing Director of Muna Tree Holdings (which includes EDU Africa). He is also the Chairman of Mara Naboisho – a leading community-based conservation initiative driven by eco-tourism in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem. “Whilst I am proudly Zimbabwean (my forefathers arrived in Africa in 1800), I have had the privilege of living and working across the continent.

I love discovering ways to not only offer an excellent service to visitors, but moreover to make a lasting impact in local communities through the local project partners and the various community partners we are blessed to serve. When I have a spare moment, I love escaping into the bush with my beautiful wife, daughter and son who are proving to be fast learners with those clumsy binoculars!”