Children in the Wilderness Hosts Successful Mid-Year Tri-Nations Camp at Mapungubwe

Children in the Wilderness (CITW) hosted its first mid-year Tri-Nations Camp at Little Muck Camp in Mapungubwe National Park in July 2018. A total of 24 schoolchildren from rural communities in Tuli (Botswana), Simson (South Africa) and Maramani (Zimbabwe) came together to make new friendships while learning about the importance of conserving the wilderness and its wildlife. The camp was held in partnership with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), South African National Parks and Peace Parks Foundation.

“The camp was a great success. The children were eager to take part in our interactive activities and each day was equally exciting. They left the camp newly invigorated to protect the environment, with many ideas about how they can personally contribute to making a positive impact to the environment”, says Janet Wilkinson, CITW Regional Programme Manager.

Every year a group of CITW Eco-Club learners is selected from CITW partner schools in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to attend the annual Tri-Nations Camp at Mapungubwe, with 2018 being the first time a second mid-year camp will be held. Special guests from the DEA and from the Beitbridge Rural District Council also attended the camp to spend time with the children and share career guidance talks, with specific emphasis on the opportunities available in environmental conservation and the ecotourism industry.

The Tri-Nations Camp, which began in 2015, is the only CITW Eco-Club Camp that brings together learners from three different countries, focusing on children residing within the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). The children have the opportunity to visit the Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre, the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers and partake in various fun and educational games while learning more about the GMTFCA communities.

The Tri-Nations Camp forms part of the larger CITW annual programme that hosts camps for selected learners in all CITW regions. The camps are usually four days long and are led by a team of CITW Eco-Mentors and volunteers who run Eco-Clubs in the local communities and schools of the learners. The camps build on what the children have learnt in their Eco-Clubs and other environmental educational programmes that they have attended throughout the year.

“We are excited to be hosting two Tri-Nations Camps this year, with the second one due to take place in mid-December. It is our aim to gradually grow our CITW programmes so that we can host and educate more learners in order to make a sustainable and positive difference to Africa through our environmental and life skills programmes. To date, we have hosted close to 7 000 learners on our annual Eco-Club Camps and some 500 learners on our YES Club Camps. We want to do the same with our Tri-Nations Camps, which are relatively new in comparison to the other two”, added Janet.