In 2008, the Oppenheimer family donated a 3,900 hectare Nature Reserve, Ezemvelo, to the Maharishi Institute, to provide a stunning location for a new green, consciousness-based, eco-village for Southern Africa. This new eco-village facility, MERU, is aimed at providing experience of nature conservation and green industries, the hallmarks of 21st century society.
Students come away with a broader appreciation of issues affecting our daily lives and the future of our mother earth, and how to create prosperity out of emerging 21st century green industries, through the protection of nature. The goal is to offer precious assistance to our rural communities to break the cycle of poverty by maintaining the natural treasures they are the caretakers of.
Over 4000 youth from schools and universities throughout South Africa have already experienced leadership camps and training at Ezemvelo Nature Reserve.
At Ezemvelo youth have the option to build their foundational ecology and conservation-related skills through Wildlife Campus. Students have also benefited from experiential leadership camps with Endangered Wildlife Trust's Conservation Leadership Group, as well as FGASA, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa.
Students at Ezemvelo have the option to enroll in courses via distance education.
WildlifeCampus is a well-established and reputable distance-learning provider under the auspices of FGASA with 10,000 online students world-wide and has been offering Wildlife, natural Science, Guiding and Ecology-related courses for over 10 years.
Courses on offer through WildlifeCampus include:
MERU will soon be expanding to incorporate eco-architecture and green technologies to make it self-sustaining and completely off-the-grid. A thousands of years old system of building for happiness and wellbeing in harmony with natural law, known as Sthapatya Ved, is to be used.