Children in the Wilderness Botswana camps begun in 2001 and have hosted 1475 children to date. We are currently busy with preparations for our 13th annual camps in December 2014.
The Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) camps are follow-up camps which are offered to children who have shown interest in the area of conservation and environmental issues. This programme started in 2008 and has already hosted 144 children to date. We held our most recent YES camp in April and hosted 24 children at Khwai Discoverer Camp.
The Eco-Club Teacher training programmes are done on a quarterly basis and with these at least 33 teachers have been trained on how to run Eco–Clubs in their respective schools. There are 10 Eco-Club schools that we work with and about 500 Eco-Club members and 44 teachers involved in these clubs. We visit all the schools every three months to supply materials for the Eco-Clubs, to monitor projects and provide support to the Eco-Club teachers.
The Adult Eco-Clubs started in 2014 in Shashe and are working very well. We are hoping to expand out to other villages where CITW operates. The Adult Eco-Clubs are focusing on Women empowerment projects using natural resources to diversify their income. It is also used as way of involving the parents in their children’s learning as they work very closely with the School Eco-Clubs. The Shashe Women’s Group recently had their first big order from Wilderness Safaris: this included clothes, guest gifts, etc.
The other programme we have run this year is Soccer in the Wilderness. We hosted 90 children from different schools within Maun and Sankoyo area. This is an annual event at which CITW Ambassador Gordon Gilbert, a professional footballer, holds soccer clinics in order to motivate these young players and teach them about environmental and conservation issues through sports.