Children in the Wilderness Malawi’s camp program clocked 12 years at the end of its 2014 Camps which took place at Mvuu Camp last December. The 2014 camps hosted 100 children through three weeks and three groups of camping. The 2014 children came from Eco-Clubs of the following primary Schools: Nanthomba, Kavunguti, Kafulafula, Limimbi, Ntangayi, Ntapwa, Nangondo and Katambasula. These were some of the schools which are situated close to Liwonde National Park.
The major camp objectives in 2014 included:
- To provide an opportunity to children (Deserving Eco-Club members) to have hands-on lessons on wildlife, natural environment, Liwonde National Park’s Ecosystem and threats to the wildlife
- To provide an opportunity to children to learn and practice a number of essential life skills which they need in their daily living
- To provide an opportunity to children to connect with some young successful professionals who could be their role models
Annual stakeholders’ workshops
CITW had utilized the chance of venue space donated by CAWS Mvuu Camp for children’s camps, to also host a one day stakeholders’ workshop at Mvuu Camp. The workshop date was sandwiched between the days when the first group of camping children left and the day when the second group of children came into camp. The stakeholders’ workshop was strategically located so that the participants had a chance of meet two groups of camping children (Eco-Club members), and appreciate the positive effect of camp on their lives.
The stakeholders who were invited for the workshop included:
- Village Leaders including Traditional Authority (T.A.) from 10 villages around Liwonde National Park
- District Education Managers from Balaka and Machinga Districts
- Primary Education Advisors from Ulongwe and Namandanje zones
- Head Teachers from 10 Primary Schools – around Liwonde National Park
The workshop mainly aimed at having the stakeholders review their roles in improving the effectiveness of Eco-Clubs in their areas. It was also meant to let them refresh their understanding, love and feelings about wildlife in the Park.
Partnership and program building: (From July to December 2014)
Some of the meetings and partnerships which were successfully done:
- June - International Teachers from Hooke Court UK – Partnership in training Eco-Club Teachers (Coordinators).
- July - Rosemary Pencil Foundation (USA) – The foundation approved the school sponsorship budget for 40 current students (from previous years), and 10 new students - New intake) for the 2014/2015 school year.
- July – 50 more kindles loaded with Malawi Secondary School Syllabus text book, teachers’ guides and more related reading books and novels were sourced from the World Readers through Rosemary Pencil Foundation. The kindles were to be donated to Bandawe Girls Secondary – Northern Malawi.
- September - People’s Trading Center (PTC) – Donated over 80% of all food supplies needed for 2014 CITW Camp.
- Illovo Sugar Company – In the month of October donated over 10% of all camp food supplies for 2014 camp.
- David & Juliet (from UK) – Partnered and donated money to sponsor two girls through secondary school for a period of four years.
Eco-Club projects initiated and completed
Reforestation – The idea for children to participate in reforestation of their communities was initiated in 2008 by Danford Manda (one of the Eco-Club members). Since then, children get involved in raising the trees and donating them to their communities. Over 300 children participated in the 2014/2015 tree season. With support from the German Embassy over 30 000 seedlings were raised and donated to the surrounding communities around Liwonde National Park. The project also included the digging of a borehole and the construction of a tree nursery site store room and information wall.
Adobe youth voice media club at Nanthomba- Worked on three major projects:
- Causes of Girls drop off from schools
- Bases of poaching in Liwonde National Park
- Deforestation of village land in Nandumbo community.
The projects revealed the causes and the effects of situations mentioned above.
- Annual Eco-Club Teachers trainings – over 40 participants (Teachers, Head Teachers, Advisors and District Educational Managers).
- CITW Alumni – Chintheche and Liwonde zone. (Alumni are those children grown above Eco-Club curriculum, still organized and participating in community programs related to CITW).
CITW sponsors for the needy children from within the program (needy Eco-Club members), who get selected to further their education to Secondary or Tertiary Schools. From the list of students which we had for 2014/2015, four students from Secondary School made it to various Government Colleges and Universities.
2015 plans (January to June)
This year CITW Camp program will take place at Chintheche Inn – North of Malawi. Seventy two new comers (Eco-Club members aged between 10 and 13) will participate. There will also be twenty eight local alumni members who will participate in a day camp. A total of 100 campers will be hosted.
By June this year the camp dates will be confirmed between CITW and Central African Wilderness Safaris. Volunteering mentors from outside Malawi will be required to submit their interest of participating by June end.
Partnerships and program development (January to June 2015)
- A number of follow-up meetings and more sensitization between prospective donors have been put in place. The main objectives are to get more funding for the expansion of the program and create opportunities for Public Private Sectors and individuals to join us in serving the communities and population which we target.
Between January and June 2015, most of the Eco-Clubs have planned to run the following activities:
- Tree planting and weeding
- Park fire-break making (clearing along the Park fence – Liwonde zone)
- Adobe youth Media club training in editing with Premium Elements (New software donated by Adobe Systems)