Kelebogile “Kelly” Baitshoki, our Children in the Wilderness Assistant Administrator in Botswana, reports on the project which CITW Botswana will be pioneering this year:
“The project of planting indigenous trees was launched this year by Children in the Wilderness Botswana in eight schools we are working with. The idea is to get the Eco-Club members to know more about the indigenous trees around them. This has been made into a competition in order to motivate everyone to take part in the project. The intention is for Eco-Clubs to gather seedlings or seeds and plant those in containers. They will then label the trees by their names and their uses. Creativity is encouraged as Eco-Club members need to put a presentation together on their trees. A guide from Okavango Wilderness Safaris, will be the judge to see who wins.
These trees will be sold and we are hoping that each Eco-Club will be able to raise enough funds for themselves to help in running some of their minor projects.
CITW Botswana intends to grow and reach out to other areas like in the cities. From the winning Eco-Club, a few members will be selected to go and launch CITW Programme in Gaborone, where they will meet with the children at the school that CITW will be working with. They will share information about what they are doing in their Eco-Clubs and their successes and challenges. As most of the children from the south part of Botswana are not familiar with the North-east district (the Okavango area), the Eco-Club members will also do a presentation about this district, highlighting the importance of tourism. The aimis for the children to share their knowledge and experience with each other.
The journey has already started as the CITW Botswana team, with the help of Okavango Wilderness Safaris private guide Lets Kamogelo, visited Shashe Primary School to assist the Eco-Elub members with the information they needed about the trees they have already gathered. Lets has volunteered to assist the Eco-Clubs whenever a need arises. His passion is to invest in our children, and to impart the knowledge which will be beneficial to them. He has a great passion for teaching children about conservation. Out of his own will, when he is on leave in his home village of Bobonong, he teaches children in his village about conservation, and what he does as a guide.
He had a moment out of his busy schedule to do what he love most, and the children were very happy to have him teach them about the trees. He taught them about the use of those trees and their scientific names. He also suggested that they increase the plants they have already gathered and make that brought by also including the indigenous flowers as they are also very important in the ecological system. Children were encouraged to ask questions.
CITW Botswana would like to thank Lets Kamogelo for the assistance he has offered to CITW and our Eco-Club at Shashe Primary School. His engagement with CITW will bring about change and a great transformation in the dreams of our children.”