Last week, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Botswana hosted 18 teachers from the nine schools which we work, for Eco-Mentor training. Our Eco-Mentor training aims to develop local community members, teachers, volunteers and Wilderness Safaris camp staff by upgrading their skills in environmental understanding and awareness. The training empowers and educates staff and community members, creating more environmental ambassadors and increasing mentor’s opportunities to get involved in their communities. Eco-Mentor training also assists in addressing the critical teaching skills shortage in environmental education in Southern Africa.
Our Eco-Mentors volunteer their time in order to work with the children. They are important role models in their communities and are vital in the running of the various elements of our CITW Programme structure. Training last week included Eco-Mentors from each school reporting back on the different projects which their Eco-Clubs are running. This included projects from vegetable production and tree planting, to elephant awareness campaigns.
Mr. Ben Zuze, a CITW Botswana Board Member, facilitated a session on the National Environmental Education Strategy and Action Plan (NEESAP) and School Environmental Policy (SEP). He guided the Eco-Mentors about ways in which they could implement these policies in their schools and Eco-Clubs.
Brooks Kamanakao presented lessons on birds and botany, giving the Eco-Mentors content and ideas to share with their Eco-Clubs.
Mary Hastag talked to the Eco-Mentors about the YES Programme, which CITW Botswana will be implementing next year in all the schools in which it is active.
Finally, an activity plan for 2018 was put together, which will help guide Eco-Mentors in its various activities in 2018.