Johannesburg Eco-Club – All about trees

Children in the Wilderness (CITW) operates Eco-Clubs in the various communities with which we work. The Eco-Clubs, which take place at the rural schools, follow a structured curriculum and give all learners who are interested in the environment a chance to meet, learn, discuss and expand their knowledge of environmental issues. The interactive, fun sessions are also designed to be informative, and allow us to reach more children in the communities on a more regular basis.

The CITW Johannesburg Team decided to spread our message this past weekend, and held an Eco-Club in the Wilderness Safaris office in Rivonia – a rather different setting to our usual programme. Children of Wilderness Safaris staff were invited to attend our Eco-Club morning. We had a wonderful turnout with 19 children braving a rainy Johannesburg, to join in on the morning’s activities.

The theme for the day was ‘All about trees’, and started off the good old CITW way, with a song about vultures, and a few energiser games. Thereafter, the children were split into their age groups, where they had a lesson on trees – what they need to survive, why they’re so important to protect, and what we can do to help protect and save trees.

Each group then had a turn to add their hand print to the CITW tree, and make a terrarium. The terrariums were a good way to consolidate their learning from the morning, with a discussion on how their terrariums will ensure their indigenous acacia seedlings continue to grow as they get all of the important elements they need to survive inside their two litre plastic bottles. We encouraged the children to plant their acacia trees in their gardens once they were ready to be moved out of their terrariums.

A huge thank you must go to The Mountain Club of South Africa Johannesburg Section (MCSA JHB), who sent five volunteers to man the ropes of our (rather technical) climbing wall. Two storeys of climbing didn’t seem to faze the children, with the youngest climber of four-and-a-half (yes, the half is important) scampering to the top with no trouble at all. The MCSA JHB volunteers guided the children, and a few Eco-Mentors, up with wall with words of encouragement and endless patience. This was a perfect way to end off a great morning of fun and learning.

As always, none of this would’ve been possible without our Eco-Mentor volunteers. Thank you to Mary-Anne and Caroline from Wilderness Safaris, Hannah and Cameron and the CITW Team for making the Joburg Eco-Club such a success!

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