ESA Project, South Africa

ESA (Environmental Sustainability Agency) is a social impact enterprise that partners with local landowner communities to build sustainable and profitable biodiversity/wildlife-based value chain businesses, in so doing addressing rural livelihoods, food security, employment creation, enterprise development, and land restoration. ESA’s philosophy towards addressing the problems is an all-inclusive approach putting people in the center as part of conservation solutions and decision-making processes.  ESA achieves this by partnering with people through a recognized structure like CPA or Trust to actively develop a sustainable local economy.

project details

What: Develop and implement eco-tourism concepts.



Applications Deadline: 3th of October 2020

About the project

In the period of the ‘Apartheid’, land in South-Africa was taken from the local communities. The government set up a land reform to give back those lands.
The land is often not fertile due to wrong use in the past and the locals don’t know how to use it in a sustainable way. As a consequence, the area is characterized by a high unemployment rate.

Partner ESA:
The Environmental Sustainability Agency is South-African social entrepreneurship that helps communities actively do something with the regained lands. They focus on optimizing job creation and increasing the value of the community’s asset base. The model they work with is based on biodiversity.

What do the students have to develop?
The project students will develop a formalized information gathering for the local cattle farmers in order for them to communicate more effectively. Local farmers in the Muyibuye community do not work together now, whereas they can reach more potential revenue if they would set up an organized structure.
They will also review the ecotourism model of the Muyibuye wildlife reserve in a financially, economically, socially, and sustainably responsible way. During the implementation phase, they will look for new business opportunities in light of the Covid-19 situation.

The goal is to generate more income for the local communities, in balance with nature.

Deadline applications: 3th of October 2020
Preparation phase: October 2020 – June 2021
Implementation phase: July 2021- August 2021

COVID-19: The implementation phase is still uncertain, but we are working hard on alternatives to provide the students with an incredible AFD-experience.

If you apply for this project and get accepted for the team, the following would be, amongst others, your challenges and goals:

– Providing support to ESA in fine-tuning and improving eco-tourism concepts

– Implement concepts that were already developed by the previous AFD team (’19-’20)

– Developing facilities related to eco-tourism

During the preparation months in Belgium you will mainly concentrate on fine-tuning and improving eco-tourism concepts and facilities, while during the implantation phase of 6 weeks in July and August, you will help the organisation with implementing your ideas.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for 4 to 5 highly motivated students, with good knowledge of the English language. Students of all academic backgrounds are allowed to apply. However, for this project we are especially looking for students with backgrounds or special interest in:

Economics with interest in sustainability

Other business-related studies


If this sounds like the challenge you need in your life, not only to make the world just a little better but also to gain an incredible amount of experience in the process, do not hesitate to apply.

APPLICANTS ARE CLOSED. You cannot apply anymore for the ESA Project, but keep an eye on our website to stay updated on our new projects.

DEADLINE: 3th of October 2020

If you have any questions feel free to send us an email at



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