Letter from the Chairman
Dear Valued Friend of SANCCOB
This year SANCCOB celebrates its 44th anniversary and we’re very proud that our efforts over the past years have led to over 90 000 African penguins and other vulnerable seabirds being rehabilitated in Southern Africa.
Our vision is to be the benchmark for seabird conservation and to bird-by-bird, year-by-year, increase our knowledge and service to the community. The past three years, in particular, have
been exceptionally good for SANCCOB. We have been able to stabilise the organisation after a period of management change, raise our profile both locally and internationally, and secure the funds required to take the organisation to the next level. This confirms that with good planning and a committed team and partners so much can be achieved.
We are now delighted to let you know that SANCCOB is entering a new and exciting phase in its ongoing development. This involves a strategic re-alignment based on the need to focus more of our efforts on rehabilitation, research and other conservation related projects.
Venessa Strauss, who joined SANCCOB in 2002 as Rehabilitation Manager, and moved quickly through the ranks of the organisation to serve as its CEO for the past 4 years, will now take on the important role of SANCCOB Conservation Director, working with the current rehab and research team, focusing her efforts on rehabilitation, research, oiled wildlife response and other conservation projects.
Margaret Roestorf, who has served so successfully as SANCCOB’s Development Director since 2009, will move into the position of Executive Director. Margaret’s strong strategic and relationship-building abilities will ensure that SANCCOB remains true to its raison d’etre – conserving seabirds through rehabilitation and emergency response work, and raising awareness on marine conservation. Margaret will retain her fundraising portfolio and will work with a soon-to-be appointed Business Manager to develop the long-awaited new SANCCOB facility (with funds secured inter alia from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund).
The new facility, to be constructed on the existing site, will enable visitors to experience our working seabird hospital, while our education programmes, especially for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, will continue to ensure that the next generation of South Africans will appreciate our precious marine ecosystems.
SANCCOB is also a SETA recognised training facility, with an intern-based programme attracting local and international students. In 2009 SANCCOB embarked on a three year process to become a nationally accredited training provider, its expertise in emergency response and related subject matter making a unique contribution in this respect.
Venessa and Margaret have worked side-by-side for three years with great success. We are thrilled that this good work will continue as we embark on the next phase of our journey together with the Board, staff, dedicated volunteers, and, most importantly, our donors and supporters.
With Warm Regards
Chair SANCCOB Board