Last week, CITW Zambezi hosted 33 Eco-Mentors for an annual training session. Facilitated by Kirsty van der Want from the Johannesburg office, and with an aim of familiarising the Eco-Mentors with the Eco-Club curriculum that they are using this term, it was an intensive, fun- and learning-filled three-day programme.
A special part of the training was that we were able to bring together Eco-Mentors from each region that CITW Zambezi works with. This included mentors from Kafue, Kazungula, and Livingstone in Zambia, and mentors from Victoria Falls, Hwange, Tsholotsho, and Maramani in Zimbabwe. We were also joined by Agnes Tjirare and Moalisi Lebekwe, the CITW Programme Coordinators from Namibia and Botswana respectively. It was great to be able to spend time together, learning from each other and comparing stories from the different regions.
The CITW Eco-Club Programme utilises the ‘Flow Learning’ technique. This comprises four stages of learning that are more practical, getting students involved and active as opposed to the classroom teaching that they are exposed to every day. ‘Flow Learning’ includes an energiser game, followed by a theoretical lesson and practical activity, before culminating in a debriefing, and reflection on what they have learned. Topics for this term include gardening and soils, animal adaptations, topography, water, climate change, poaching, and respect.
The training was hugely beneficial in many ways, as it has enlightened newer mentors about Flow-Learning, while providing a refresher course for others. We hope to see plenty of practical Eco-Club sessions emerge from this training, and are looking forward to spending some time with various Eco-Clubs across both countries.
Report and images by Sarah Adams