March 2016 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is thrilled to be selected as a finalist in the Engage Africa category of the We Are Africa Innovation Awards. The winners will be voted for by attendees of the trade show and announced at a ceremony during the We Are Africa travel trade show in Cape Town in May.
“We are honoured that our Eco-Club programme has been recognised by the We Are Africa Innovation Awards. Our Eco-Clubs continue to grow, reaching more children more often, and we are proud of our results to date and the positive impact it is having on the lives of thousands of African children, as well as their parents through our Adult Eco-Club programme”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Programme Director.
CITW is a non-profit organisation supported by Africa’s leading sustainable ecotourism company, Wilderness Safaris. It is an environmental and life skills educational programme that focuses on the next generation of African rural decision makers. In 2015, more than 2 500 children participated in 58 Eco-Clubs in six southern African countries: Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. “We are excited that our Eco-Club programme is developing future custodians of wilderness areas who are inspired and empowered to be Africa’s future leaders”, adds Snyman.
Taking place at rural schools, Eco-Clubs follow a structured curriculum and give all learners who are interested in the environment the opportunity to meet, learn, discuss and expand their knowledge. Sessions are designed to be fun and interactive, and are run by teachers and volunteer Eco-Mentors from the local communities who teach the children about environmental issues as well as various skills, ranging from vermiculture (worm farming) to vegetable gardening.
In 2014, the programme was expanded to include adults in the community, providing them with a chance to diversify their livelihoods by learning some of the same skills taught during Eco-Club sessions at rural schools and setting up their own businesses.
The annual We Are Africa Innovation Awards forms part of the programme for We Are Africa, a travel trade exhibition organised by Beyond Luxury Media, taking place from 2 – 5 May in Cape Town. The finalists of the six categories were selected by a panel of five experts who were tasked with recognising “the most inventive, inspiring and unexpected achievements defining the next chapter of African travel”.