Remembering Russel Friedman

Remembering Russel’s life-changing legacy

It’s been just over a year since the passing of Wilderness Safaris stalwart, and Children in the Wilderness chairman (and greatest supporter), Russel Friedman. Russel was instrumental in the implementation of our programme, both the day-to-day ins and outs, and the big picture of how to achieve our goals. His passion, drive and influence are missed every day. 

One of Russel’s initiatives was the creation of these beautiful colouring-in books – Draw What You Saw with artist Dov Fedler. This project was very close to Russel’s heart, and we thought a look at these special books would be the ideal way to remember Russel, as they tie together perfectly his love for wildlife, Africa, and the CITW programme. 

‘V’ is for Vulcha

In the 1970s, Russel had been instrumental in founding the Vulture Study Group and pioneering a change in attitudes to these birds, hence his nickname ‘Vulcha’. In Draw what you saw, ‘V’ is for vulture – a wonderful connection to Rus.

Dov Fedler has been a leading South African cartoonist for over 50 years. This book shows you his basic method of drawing and encourages you to see and draw things with your own creativity. Dov believes that anyone can learn how to draw, sometimes you just have to see things differently.

These books, along with sets of colouring pencils, have been distributed to all of our Regions. There are enough books for each of our Eco-Club members across our programme.

Mulambe Eco-Club members in Malawi have discovered great fun and learning, and gained self-esteem, through our CITW colouring-in books. The theme of their lessons and activities for March was the role of buffalo in Liwonde National Park, and through the books they worked on a number of topics and learnt a lot about buffalos. In fact, the colouring-in books are extremely popular among all Eco-Club members, and even YES Club members and Eco-Mentors too. A session of learning through colouring-in has become a day of general artistic self-expression, concentration, and much sharing.

The production and printing of this book would not have been possible without the Katz Family, Discover Africa and Dov Fedler – a huge thank you to you all! And of course, to Russel. This was his vision, his idea, and of course, it has all worked out brilliantly.