We continued our training for Rocktail Eco-Club mentors with WESSA’s Ray Ngubane.
Caroline Culbert, a Wilderness Safaris photography fundi, came along to teach the Eco-Mentors how to use cameras effectively. This is always a fun, but enlightening activity and we look forward to some interesting pictures from future CITW Eco-Clubs.
Gugulesizwe Culutural Village played host to the first ever CITW Adventure camp, an overnight (24 hour) camping experience. Some of the Eco-Club members from the nearby Vululwazi Primary School and CITW Eco-Mentors all camped for the first time ever! There was much nervous excitement when everyone arrived but everyone soon forgot their concerns and enjoyed playing games and making tippy taps. The team building activity, tent pitching, was hilarious with children and mentors puzzling the instructions on how to put up their tents.
After lunch everyone participated in a talk in the grasslands (under a tree) followed by practical crafts activity in the grasslands. The remainder of the afternoon’s learnings included a talk in the coastal forest followed by an activity on the importance of the coastal forest and a team poster relay competition. Everyone enjoyed the dinner, prepared by local community members, and then it was time for the evening’s talent show and fireside stories. There was much chatting and laughter when the children went to sleep in their tents and all slept soundly.
The following morning children packed up their tents and sleeping bags amid more hilarity at how to make everything fit back into the bags! There was a recap of things they had learned on camp and then everyone departed home.
Everyone expressed their delight and enjoyment of the camp and wanted to stay longer. We look forward to hosting more of these camps in the future as this will provide opportunity for more school children to participate – not only Eco-Club members.
CITW Makuleke Eco-Mentor Training
19 local community members volunteered for Eco-Mentor training at the Makuleke Community Centre hosted by Bongani Baloyi of CITW.
The aim of the training was to develop local community members by upgrading their skills in environmental understanding and enabling them to implement school and village environmental projects and initiatives.
These newly trained Eco-Mentors will be running the CITW Eco-Clubs in the Makuleke primary schools.
After a discussion on the definition of volunteering (“you do it out of love and desire to help others without expecting payment of any kind in return for volunteering”), the training covered CITW Values, how CITW operates and how to run an Eco-Club.
Trainees took turns to be a mentor/student guided through some of the lesson plans and activities in the CITW curriculum. This provided the opportunity for mentors to see different communication styles of individuals and to learn from each other as well as from the trainer.
Lesson plans covered included Respect, Appreciation and a walkabout to the local Makuleke Dam. This was done to expose the trainees to the littering problem taking place in and around the dam. As soon as the participants realized the reality of environmental degradation, they started to brainstorm and discussed possible solutions to address the problem. The trainees have undertaken to start a cleaning campaign that will be preceded by a littering awareness campaign.
After the training, the mentors said they had gained valuable skills and knowledge and are all excited to be part of the CITW Eco-Club programme.
Mr Phanny Makhubele Risimati, a volunteer from Makuleke village: “I had always wanted to do something to educate my community about wildlife and the environment but did not know where to start. CITW gave me the opportunity through this training to realise my dream by allowing me to participate in this programme.”