Dear CITW friends, dear Janet

In 2012 and 2013 I was allowed to lead CITW for a short time. “You only protect what you love, and you only love what you know” was the credo of the late Russel Friedman, who encouraged all Wilderness Safaris staff and partners to participate in CITW camps.

Rita in 2013 with Gilbert, then CITW Co-ordinator for Lentswe-le-Moriti Primary School in Botswana’s Bobirwa District

The children who live in the areas the tourists visit are the ones who have to learn to appreciate nature as an asset worth preserving, and the mentors become the ones who have to do a bit of values education. But how do you teach values in class?

Not everything you get to know better you love more because of it – often the opposite is the case. Even if students see an intact ecosystem as valuable, they have a lot of other problems in their heads and hearts with which the value of the environment has to compete.

I am convinced that CITW’s Eco-Clubs, camps and mentor training programmes are an extremely successful and valuable part of increasing the environmental understanding of these young people and enabling them to better implement environmental projects in the future.

I agree with Russel, everyone should see the work of CITW for themselves, and see and feel the great joy of the CITW children.

Chapeau! With heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped, shaped and supported CITW over the past 20 years. Here’s to another 20 successful years and many new young environmental leaders in the communities.

Kind regards

Rita Bachmann

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