Patrons: Wendy Luhabe Cathy O’Dowd
“This experience has meant the world to me, I can’t put into words how grateful I am to be blessed with this wonderful adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed being in the bush, even though sometimes it got difficult. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity of a lifetime and anyone who gets the chance in the future should embrace it and they will love it.”
The Wild Swans Programme places 36 young women over the next three years, from the UK, Ireland and South Africa, on a remarkable journey of self discovery and empowers them to step forward and lead their communities to a better future.
This unique programme will enable young women from the ages of 16+ to make a powerful contribution to social, economic and environmental change. By bringing together young women with leadership potential from differing cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, we aim to give participants a deep understanding of the issues the world is facing and to take the necessary action to address concerns. The programme also aims to take those inspirational young women, who face difficulties through force of circumstance and not through lack of talent or integrity, and propel them to the forefront of leadership within their own communities.
“I don’t even know where to start. I’ve learnt so much from this trail. It was like a healing week. I feel like I know myself more now and I am very with the person that I am now. I am so blessed because I was chosen for this wonderful experience.”
The Wild Swans Programme is committed to promoting the values of women’s leadership and addressing the gender gap in business, environmental and social leadership.
Over a period of 12 months, all Wild Swans will take part in a series of workshops focused on leadership skills development, and also experience in-depth mentoring and training from a powerful steering committee of female leaders and other facilitators.
A unique element of the Wild Swan Programme is the concentrated and extended time in wild nature- in the form of a 15 day wilderness trail in South Africa. This trail is based on over 50 years experiential learning experience in the field by the Wilderness Foundation. The challenge of this experience takes individuals out of their comfort zone, and enables them to truly understand the balance between nature and humanity. By sleeping under the stars, carrying all one’s possessions in a backpack over five days, living simply and having time to think and feel, whilst having time away from the pressures of modern life is transformative and life changing.
“This experience has taught me so much and for this I am grateful as I know I wouldn’t have been able to experience this anywhere else to the degree that I have with the Wild Swan Project.”
Ways you can help
- Be the difference – become a Swan!
- Nominate a young woman to take part.
- Sponsor one of our young women – by investing in one remarkable youth, you make it possible for twelve young women to make both an individual and a collective difference.
- Be a mentor – inspire, guide and support a young person on their journey.
- Join our Wild Swans’ Steering group – network with some of industries most powerful women and support the next generation of female leaders.