Children in the Wilderness (CITW) has launched the third edition of its annual Eco-Stars magazine, a compendium of highlights of all the amazing projects run by the programme’s young stars throughout the regions where CITW is based.
“We are excited to be launching the third edition of Eco-Stars. This magazine is proof of our continued commitment to effect positive change in the local communities where we host our programme. As you’ll see throughout the publication, the CITW programme has been designed in such a way that the learners’ activities are tailor-made to address the specific needs of their communities”, noted Bongani Baloyi, CITW Regional Programme Coordinator.
The publication provides a platform for the CITW team to share their inspirational stories in their own voices – from Eco-Club members to Eco-Mentors and scholarship recipients. This is also a platform that enables the learners to showcase their short stories, poetry and artwork. The magazine is available online and will also be distributed throughout Wilderness Safaris camps in southern Africa.
While the learners diligently continue with their livelihood diversification projects, including regular Eco-Club lessons, vegetable gardens, water-saving initiatives and various other environmental conservation campaigns within their schools and communities, there are a number of stand-out projects facilitated by the learners. The magazine is jam-packed with articles covering all of these achievements, including:
- The Malawi Nanthomba Cluster Eco-Clubs’ reforestation project, for which the learners reached their target of raising 20 000 seedlings required by the communities in the cluster for the 2017 and 2018 tree-growing season. This was a special project that saw young Eco-Club members engaged in fruitful collaboration with the older Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) members.
- The successful launch of a second African Children’s Stories book, this one in Namibia, made possible by the partnership between CITW and the Dūcere Foundation. The stories in the book were written by 12 Eco-Club members from the Okaukuejo Combined School. The book has been made available in all Wilderness Safaris’ Namibian camps for guests to read at leisure.
- Numerous Zambezi Eco-Club members joined forces to create awareness for rhino conservation, taking place in a rhino walk in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; they also took the opportunity to learn more about the species from the Zambia Wildlife Authority rangers.
“2017 was a busy year for CITW and we are particularly proud of all our learners for the impressive collective effort they have made on all their inspirational projects during the year. This is a particularly special edition of Eco-Stars as it is a poignant tribute to our late founder and safari stalwart, Russel Friedman, who tragically passed away at the beginning of 2018. Russel had an unwavering passion for communities and conservation which is what made him such an integral part of CITW. Although he is sorely missed, his teachings are forever instilled in the many he mentored within the CITW team”, concluded Bongani.
View this beautiful magazine here. CITW is grateful to Wilderness Safaris for the design and editing of this magazine. Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, Africa’s premier ecotourism company, Wilderness Safaris, partners with the Children in the Wilderness programme as well as the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, both of which have helped change the face of naturebased tourism in Africa.