A CITW Malawi Success Story: Davie Nkosi – Environmental Sciences Graduate

From 2008 to 2011 Davie was a CITW Malawi Eco-Club member, after which he joined the YES Club programme. Seeing his potential, CITW organised a scholarship through the Wilderness Wildlife Trust for Davie to complete his schooling. We could not be more proud to have been part of this young man’s journey!

What Davie has to say…

I remember the day I joined Children in the Wilderness (CITW) in 2008 in our community, at Chintheche Inn, in Nkhatabay District. I was selected from our Chihame Primary School to attend an environmental education camp organised by CITW at a tourism and hospitality property belonging to Central African Wilderness Safaris (CAWS). I learned that CAWS passionately supported CITW, closing the property to paying guests and opening it for children’s environmental education camps. I attended the camp when I was in primary Grade 7. At the end of the six-day camp, I was converted and became a lover of natural resources and the environment. A passion for conservation was ignited inside me.

I was happy that after our camp, through Eco-Clubs, CITW kept connecting us with role models from various careers, which each CITW participant desired to grow into. I was very lucky as within the CITW programme there were passionate and professional persons that I had already marked as my inspirations.

After my secondary school education, and into university, I found the right institution which had the right courses and programme of study that I wanted. While doing my tertiary studies, I found it a great privilege for me to be invited and volunteer as one of the CITW annual camp Eco-Mentors. I enjoyed guiding and teaching primary school children about the environment in a camp setting.

When I was on university holidays and back in my home community at Chintheche, our Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Club would plan activities for us to do during the children’s school holidays. The planned activities included identifying environmental issues in our community and then discussing possible solutions. Some of the findings did compel us (youth) into reforestation projects and conducting environmental awareness campaigns in schools and marketplaces. All these for sure were adding some quality to my formal studies and research work at university.

I am finally so happy that I have achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences!

I would like to extend my thanks to all individuals and organisations who identified the need and the potential in me. They surrounded me with their financial guidance and moral support along my school journey from primary through secondary and now tertiary education: CITW, CAWS, Wilderness Wildlife Trust (WWT) and Planting Hope International (PHI).

Many thanks indeed!

Davie Dhlamini Nkosi on graduation day – a young man empowered by formal education and leadership

I would also like to give thanks to Symon Chibaka (CITW Malawi Programme Co-ordinator) for being my immediate inspiration and a helpful guide along the way. I call you a friend, a father and a partner in growth and development.

In response, Symon noted: “We are humbled by your comments, Davie. You are only telling us together with our partners and supporters, that we can do more, and for more needy and deserving children and youth”.

Since 2003 CITW Malawi has hosted over 2,500 children through its various environmental educational programmes, and has facilitated the growth and development of some 170 youths from similar situations as Davie Nkosi. These youth have varying careers as professionals now. The encouraging thing is that when CITW brings them together during their annual gatherings, they all report back on how they continue to work together with local leadership in conservation programmes in order to influence positive change, with the goal of achieving sustainable conservation in their communities.

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