During the 2012 season we ran four camps in Zambia. The first was held at Lufupa Camp in March where we hosted 18 children.
In May, the second camp was hosted at Kalamu Lagoon in South Luangwa National Park with 18 children and three teachers from three schools – Kalengo Community School, Chilongozi and Malanga Basic Schools. The third programme was held at Shumba Camp on the Busanga Plains, Kafue, and hosted 24 children.
Our final camp was held at Toka Leya in Livingstone. This was our second programme here, with 24 children and two teachers from Sinde Community School, as we have recently started working with the Sinde community. We are currently assisting the school in building additional accommodation for teachers, through donations from guests and Wilderness Safaris Zambia. All in all, during 2012 we hosted 84 children between 9 and 13 years old. Most come from the villages where our staff live, and they spoke a range of Kikaonde, Ila, Lozi, Tonga and Njanja.
In May 2011, we had a Follow-up day at Kabulwebulwe School with 48 children who had participated on camp at Lufupa. A similar Follow-up took place in June at Jifumpa and Kamakechi with 40 children that had been hosted over the last two years. The children were all given lapdesks to decorate and we revised some of the lessons learnt in camp, in particular those related to conservation – it was astounding to see how much the children had remembered and had tried to put into practice in their own homes. They were very eager to play games that they had learnt on camp, and we were joined by other students from the schools. We then spent some time talking with each of the children, one-on-one, to find out how they were doing. In October, we took the 18 children from Kalamu Camp in South Luangwa to Chipembele Wild Life Centre to learn more about conservation and wildlife in the South Luangwa area. This was a huge highlight and a great day out: our guides brought a picnic lunch that everyone enjoyed before being given their lapdesks to decorate and taking a scenic game drive back to the village. Throughout the year, the children were visited by our CITW Camp Coordinators to follow up on various projects, and we managed to bring clothing, stationery, and sporting equipment that our guests had kindly donated.
This year we conducted teacher training at Twabuka Middle School in preparation for the introduction of an eco-club. The eco-club started in September 2013 and the first project for the eco-club children was to plant trees donated through Greenpop (these trees were initially donated by Toka Leya Camp to Greenpop) in the school grounds. Each club member was in charge of watering and caring for at least one tree.
Through various generous guest donations, we collected a range of books and games for the library we built in South Luangwa. The Kalengo Wilderness Community Library (funded partly by the Wilderness Trust, see pg. 31) was officially opened by Chief Malama on behalf of community on 20th October 2011 and is being used by all the villages in the area. Our next project is to get more books and stationery for the library and the children from the surrounding schools. We also work very closely with Twabuka Middle School in Sinde village, and in 2013, a generous donation from guests allowed us to install a solar water pump, tank stand and two water tanks at the school: providing fresh drinking water for the children, as well as water for their vegetable garden.
Plans for 2014
Our 2013 camp at Toka Leya is scheduled for the first week of December. With our new CITW staff member, Sonwell, starting in 2013, we are planning to expand the eco-club programme and to facilitate numerous more eco-club projects in the villages.