Children in the Wilderness (CITW) in partnership with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Muhisimbi Voice of Youth and Conservation Heritage Turambe, organized the very first Conservation Camp in the Volcanoes National Park area in Rwanda. The Conservation Camp 2019 hosted 40 children from the environmental clubs of four schools (including Bisate Primary School, with which CITW works) for four days, starting on the 23rd of July 2019.
During the four days, the children learned about all four National Parks in Rwanda: Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park and Gishwati-Mukuru National Park.
We welcomed many visitors to the camp, all of whom contributed and taught the children more about conservation and possible careers in the environmental or tourism sector. The Gorilla Doctors explained about their work and the researchers of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund explained what they do on a daily basis. The Chief Park Warden, Prosper Uwingeli, visited and spoke to the children about the importance of the National Park and how the children from the Eco-Clubs are the ambassadors for the environment. The children learned from the Park Guides and from the Head Chef from Bisate Lodge. The Rwandan Wildlife Conservation Association facilitated a workshop about African Grey Crowned Cranes and bats.
Being the first Conservation Camp in Rwanda, there was a lot of interest from the media. The National television and radio came to join us for two days and interviewed many of the children and Eco-Mentors.
With the making of masks, posters of animal adaptations and with the creation of presentations and drama acts, the creativity of the children was showcased. The winning act was presented on the last afternoon when the official District leaders and Head masters of the schools came to visit the camp.
We also had lots of fun with games, dancing and singing.
One of the highlights was when we visited the Headquarters of Volcanoes National Park and after that did a nature walk including scavenger hunt in Buhanga Eco Park.
It was an amazing camp! Together with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Muhisimbi Voice of Youth in Conservation, Conservation Heritage-Turambe and Children in the Wilderness, we are already planning the next Conservation Camp. To be continued!