This week the CITW Zambezi team would like to shine a spotlight on one of our very own Eco-Mentors, Ishmael Tshuma, who has had a long-standing and honourable relationship with Children in the Wilderness.
Ishmael is a young man who currently lives in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe. His journey with us at CITW started all the way back in 2012 when he attended Mpindo Primary School. Ishmael is the third child of four in his family, and his mother was the sole provider for the family, albeit being unemployed, resulting in the family’s funds for schooling often being very scarce.
CITW was duly able to identify Ishmael’s true potential and he joined our scholarship programme in 2012.
Soon after joining the CITW scholarship programme, Ishmael became a proud member of the Mpindo Primary CITW Eco-Club where his passion for the environment and conservation was ignited. Ishmael’s love and dedication to learning about the environment through his club earned him a spot at CITW’s 2014 annual camp held at Wilderness Davison’s. Ishmael recalls his time at camp being incredible, as he was able to witness the beauty of many wild animals that he had previously not had the opportunity to see and appreciate.
After primary school, Ishmael continued on to Ngamo Secondary School, where he remained on our scholarship programme. He produced seriously impressive results for his O-Levels, achieving a B in English, a B in Ndebele, a C in Agriculture, a C in Combined Sciences and an A in Heritage Studies.
While at Ngamo Secondary, in 2018 Ishmael was given the opportunity to become a CITW YES Club member. After completing secondary school, Ishmael’s went on to train as a teacher, and once qualified came back to the place where his journey with CITW originally started: Mpindo Primary School.
Since 2021 Ishmael has been a part of the CITW Teacher Support Programme in which we are able to aid both Ishmael with a consistent monthly salary, as well as Mpindo Primary to maintain an adequate number of teaching staff.
At the beginning of 2022, Ishmael’s journey from student to teacher came full circle after he volunteered to become the CITW Eco-Mentor. Ishmael’s passion for wildlife and conservation, which was originally instilled in him as a young Eco-Club member, has grown considerably over the years, and we at CITW are immensely proud that Ishmael has chosen to use this passion to educate the young Eco-Club members at Mpindo Primary.
“I give because I received. I received because I gave”.