“Growing up in the small town of Robertson, surrounded by our beautiful, majestic fynbos, I always dreamed about becoming a park ranger.”
Eugene grew up in Robertson, a small town in the Western Cape. He was raised by his grandmother, who instilled in him the conviction that one should care for other people, and not just for oneself. Eugene describes a love of plants and animals as being in his DNA. As a child he was always working in the garden and caring for his menagerie of cows, chickens, ducks and dogs. In his leisure time he enjoys taking photographs, playing cricket and listening to music.
At school Eugene enjoyed woodwork and geography. When he matriculated he worked in the food franchise industry, working at different franchises around the Western Cape and gaining management training and experience. When he heard about the Groen Sebenza Programme he seized the opportunity to make a course correction in his career and direct his efforts towards his first passion: environmental conservation and stewardship.
Through the Groen Sebenza Programme, Eugene was placed at the Flower Valley Conservation Trust (FVCT) in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. Growing up in a fynbos area he has always been interested in the Western Cape plant biome, and this passion is growing through his work experience at FVCT. Eugene currently helps to put together a database of flowers for sustainable harvesting. He also helps to manage the clearing of alien plants in sensitive areas, as well as explain to farmers and workers how fynbos can be picked sustainably to encourage regeneration.
Eugene sees himself working hard to preserve our natural environment for future generations to enjoy. He looks forward to exploring his future career possibilities in the environmental sector over the two years of his Groen Sebenza internship.