In late March and early April 2022, visionary humanitarian Anton Poplett and his intrepid team journeyed into Botswana to conduct eye tests on thousands of learners and teachers in Children in the Wilderness (CITW) partner – and other – schools across the Okavango Delta.
In order to expand this third outreach to even more children, Wilderness Safaris negotiated co-sponsorships with conservation tourism colleagues in the Okavango, including Great Plains, Desert & Delta and Natural Selection, and with the backing of Botswana’s Ministries of Basic Education and Health & Wellness.
Some 2 000 children were screened this time, at a cost-benefit to the communities of some USD39 600.
Here is Anton’s message of thanks to our Botswana colleagues – Wilderness Botswana MD Kim Nixon, Wilderness Botswana Stakeholder Manager Moalosi Lebekwe, and team…
Huge thank you for the great and amazing support you’ve given me and the project over the past two to three months.
We’ve walked the good and the bad together and it’s been great. You’ve seen hands on the trials I go through to make it work, but then you’ve also seen the happy faces with eyeglasses on them, and the huge advantages this sustainable project brings to lives.
The size of the village doesn’t matter, the distance we don’t care about, but the little smiling face seeing the chalk board properly for the first time brings happiness and a memory that’s never forgotten.
For me screening the 12-year-old girl who’d had a stroke, and giving her glasses made it all worth it. I can only imagine the trauma she’s been through. Now hopefully she’s happier.
Please accept a massive thank you from us all. It literally wouldn’t have happened without each of you being involved, and honestly, I look forward to the next one.
~ Anton Poplett – 4x4OutFar Humanitarian Vision
What Anton doesn’t mention, is that the crew’s adventure involved totally wild camping and traversing some of the country’s most untamed wilderness – all in the name of changing children’s lives!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Anton and friends. You truly embody the spirit of community outreach, and our own vision to ‘inspire positive action’.