During the 2011 season we ran four camps in Zambia. The first was held at Lufupa Camp in March where we hosted 12 children and a teacher from Kabulwebulwe School in Nalusanga, on the eastern boundary of Kafue National Park. This was our third programme with this school and was a huge success.
In June, the second camp was hosted at Kalamu Lagoon in South Luangwa National Park with 24 children and three teachers from three schools – Kalengo Community School, Chilongozi and Malanga Basic Schools. On this last camp it was also a privilege to have J onathan Rossouw and Giovanna Fasanelli from Zegrahm & Eco Expeditions, main sponsor of this camp. The third programme was initially planned to be held at Shumba Camp on the Busanga Plains, Kafue, but due to a lioness giving birth to three cubs on one of the room decks, it was moved to nearby Kapinga Camp instead! Here we hosted 24 children from J ifumpa and Kamakechi Basic Schools.
Our final camp was held at Toka Leya in Livingstone. This was our first 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 2011 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.
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.
Plans for 2012
Camps will be run throughout 2012 in both Kafue and South Luangwa National Parks, with the aim of adding more schools, as others are now requesting to be included on our programme. Over the year we aim to host 90 children at CITW camps. Follow-up programmes with all the children we hosted in 2011 will be run.
Two past campers now in secondary school have asked for help with their school fees and we hope to source these funds and assist, as their guardians cannot afford to pay.
We would also like to consolidate the Conservation Clubs we started in some of the schools and see to it that all our other schools have clubs running with the assistance of the schoolteachers and our guides. We would like the conservation messages that the children are introduced to on camp to be continued in their daily lives in their schools and homes and for this to become a part of their lives.