As a result of the Nedbank Tour de Tuli mountain bike event taking place in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier National Park (GMTFCA), we operate our programme in villages in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe surrounding the GMTFCA.
Our Children in the Wilderness Regional Programme Coordinator, Bongani Baloyi, reports on the Eco-Mentor training he conducted last week in Maramani, Zimbabwe.
The objectives of the training were to:
- Ensure all participants understand that Children in the Wilderness is an environmental education and life skills programme, supported by Wilderness Safaris, which focuses on child development and conservation;
- Ensure that the trainees understand how CITW works as an environmental education programme, encouraging children to become willing participants in solving environmental problems while undertaking projects at school or in their community;
- Ensure that all the participants understand what it is to be a volunteer Eco-Club Mentor;
- Teach all the trainees a few practical ways and ideas for running their Eco-Clubs and starting environmental projects in their communities.
Eco-Mentor Training in Maramani took place over four days. The first two days were held at Limpopo Primary School, where a total of 31 participants joined in on the training from Jalukange and Limpopo villages. The next two days of training took place at Shashi Primary school, and included 22 participants from Shashi and Nottingham. Training included teachers, community members and village headmen.
The training programme was divided over two days in both schools. Day 1 focused on giving mentors a broad overview on what the Children in the Wilderness programme is all about, and gave Mentors practical ideas for running their Eco-Clubs. Day 2 focused on conducting lessons from our Eco-Club Resource Book 1, with the idea of showing Mentors how to run the lessons, and answering any questions they might have had around certain topics. Mentors were very interested to know more about recycling projects, as well as ideas around biomass as an alternate energy source.
The participants loved our lessons on the web of life, respect, animal adaptations and plants on our school ground so much that they wanted us to carry on and on. Mentors participated actively and asked many questions and how they can start environmental projects in their communities.
All in all, it was a hugely productive four days of training. Here are a few highlights from the week: