Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
With the launch of the Lillydale Digital Learning Campus in 2018, Sabi Sabi has witnessed how lives are being transformed through education. The Lillydale Digital Learning Campus (LDLC), which was opened by Sabi Sabi in partnership with the Good Works Foundation (GWF), is a platform where young students are equipped in navigating the digital landscape that they undoubtedly will be faced with in their future careers.
Not only are we involved in the support of education of school goers, but also with the GWF BA (Bridging Academy) learning programme, which is aimed at school leavers and second chance learners. This involves the practical syllabus of the Hospitality and Safari Guide Training accredited programmes. Our heart and soul are the people in our company who dedicate their lives to hospitality and conservation, many of them hailing from neighbouring communities.
It was not surprising that a number of our team indicated their interest and willingness to enhance the support to GWF by conducting presentations and informal lectures to young students on various topics pertaining to hospitality and specifically to the luxury game lodge industry. One such informal lecture was hosted by Hugo du Toit, our HR and Admin General Manager, on alcoholic beverage service, to the campus in Hazyview recently.
Twenty-three GWF students enrolled for the Hospitality programme and spent a good couple of hours learning about wine regions in South Africa, as well as the historic and internationally acclaimed boutique wine farms within these regions that make up a large section of our award-winning wine list. Students were taught the difference between varietals and characteristics of the grape by sniffing the aromas and expectorating the wine. Wine categories including crisp, fruity, bold and how these pair with food and complement guests’ dining experience were touched on while tips were shared on wine temperature, opening a bottle of wine and serving wine.
Champagne pouring demonstrations, basic mixology, knowing the difference between liquor and liqueur, tasting cocktails, the importance of the appropriate glassware and presentation of drinks were taught in a fun and interactive manner, adding to the foundation from which the students can develop their confidence through knowledge.
It is one of Sabi Sabi’s core philosophies that in order for conservation to be successful in Africa, an integral and participatory relationship between tourism operations and neighbouring communities needs to exist. The only way that we can ensure that the youth – our future conservationists, sommeliers, chefs, lodge managers – immerse themselves in a process of life-long learning is to tell them about the importance of equipping themselves for employment, teach them about the wonders of nature and the art of making people feel welcome, and ultimately involve them in our business so that they may learn what it takes to thrive in this rewarding industry.