Children in the Wilderness (CITW), has appointed Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris Chief Operating Officer (COO), to its Board. CITW is a fundamental component of Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to community empowerment, and this appointment will ensure that both organisations continue to work hand-in-hand to drive sustainable conservation through leadership development.
“We are delighted to welcome Grant to our Board,” said Janet Wilkinson, CITW Regional Programme Manager. “Grant’s expertise and experience in both ecotourism and community stakeholder relations will be extremely valuable to us, especially due to the significant role he previously played as chairman of CITW Botswana. He truly understands our vision, and we are looking forward to tapping into his knowledge in order to grow our programmes to reach more children, more often”.
During his career with Wilderness Safaris, which has spanned more than two decades, Grant has played a pivotal role in developing a strong culture of training and skills development within the company. He has also been directly involved with numerous local communities, driving positive cultural engagement to ensure that local people truly realise the benefits of ecotourism.
“The health of ecosystems in modern Africa is to a large extent dependent on the goodwill of surrounding rural communities, and our fair and equitable engagement of these partners is a critical component of the sustainability of both protected areas and our business”, commented Grant.
“Having been directly involved with CITW since its inception in Botswana in 2001, I have witnessed first-hand how CITW has inspired the children in its programme, ultimately changing the mindset of the communities towards our business and the environment. Without communities benefiting from tourism, tourism has no future in Africa. I am therefore proud to be part of the CITW Board and look forward to playing a significant role in making sure that we continue to meaningfully impact the lives of children in both the rural and urban areas where we operate”.
Wilderness Safaris’ sustainability strategy, based on the 4Cs of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation, is closely aligned to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The company will therefore continue to provide logistical, administrative and financial support to CITW to ensure the operation and growth of an effective and sustainable environmental education programme.
“We are looking forward to working closely with Grant and our other valued Board members to take CITW through the next phase of our development, addressing the next generation of decision-makers, inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and become the custodians of these areas in the future”, concluded Janet.
For more information on Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to Community, see pages 24-29 in the latest Sustainability Review.