YES Programme youth are change agents – Malawi

Children in the Wilderness (CITW) strongly believes that through its Eco-Club and YES programmes, champions and leaders emerge who influence their communities regarding environmental awareness and culture, and who strive to achieve sustainable conservation.

Nelson, Symon and Chifundo

Nelson Chikwewa, joined CITW when he was just 11 years old. Thereafter he became one of the most committed Eco-Club members at Ntapwa Primary School on the eastern edge of Liwonde National Park. Later on he joined the YES Club. He is now a qualified field ranger working with African Parks in Liwonde National Park. He remains a member of his local YES programme.

Chifundo Nyambalo comes from a village known as Ligwang’wa, just a kilometre to the west of Liwonde National Park. He joined CITW in 2008 and is now working for Central African Wilderness Safaris as a guide. His passion is to see his village develop a sustainable socio-economic model as a result of his people realising the economic potential and environmental importance of the wildlife.

Thanks to CITW, the two young men are also equipped with environmental education facilitation knowledge and skills, as both trained at the Southern African Wildlife College. They also both find it very rewarding when talking to their people through CITW YES community outreach activities and Open Day events.

Andrew Viano is from Makote village on the eastern side of Liwonde National Park. He joined CITW in 2007 and is the current chairperson of the YES membership in CITW’s Malawi region. Andrew has volunteered as Camp Director of CITW’s annual Eco-Camps for the past two years. On 26th of June 2019 he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He is currently working with ZBS, the biggest private broadcasting station in Malawi.

Andrew uses his professional voice to challenge and appeal to people to create positive change in order to achieve sustainable conservation. He does so through his radio research, report-writing and engaging policymakers to look at environmental issues.

“Yes, these young men and ladies, our CITW participants, will certainly achieve sustainable conservation one day”.

~ Symon Chibaka