Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness (CITW), recently hosted the official launch of its first urban Eco-Club at Tshwaragano Primary School in Gaborone, Botswana, on 3 April 2019. By extending its innovative programme into the city school at the end of 2018, CITW is furthering its drive to teach even more children about the importance of the environment, and encourage them to become future leaders in sustainable conservation.
“We are excited to introduce our first city-based Eco-Club in partnership with Bryte Insurance and to grow our presence in Gaborone. If we are to ensure that our pristine wilderness areas continue to exist, we need to inspire more children to value their environment and practice sustainability in their classrooms, communities and homes.”Lesh Moiteela – CITW Botswana Programme Coordinator
The new Eco-Club is already the proud host of 40 learners, who meet every Wednesday from 2 to 3 pm at the school. Through interactive and fun sessions, the children learn a range of skills based on environmental and sustainable conservation activities from their Eco-Club Resource Book 1. Some of the projects they will learn about include saving water through the use of tippy taps (a hygienic and hands-free water-saving device that uses recycled 5-litre bottles) and other environmentally-friendly innovations, such as building ecobricks and reusing waste material to reduce litter and help to keep the school clean.
“As this is our first official affiliation to a city school, we are delighted that we are successfully expanding our Eco-Clubs into urban areas. We firmly believe that our programme is valuable to all children, and hope that we can ultimately increase their appreciation of the natural environment while encouraging them to take up careers in related fields, so that they can contribute to conserving Africa’s diverse fauna and flora.”Fern Brasem – CITW Eco-Club Coordinator, Gaborone
To prepare for the successful implementation and running of the Eco-Club, five teachers from the school underwent a two-day Eco-Mentor training session in February. The training played a pivotal role in ensuring that all participants understand the responsibility of guiding and imparting knowledge to the Eco-Club members and is a crucial base for CITW to maintain the teaching approach applied to every Eco-Club lesson.
Since launching the CITW programme in Botswana in 2001, CITW has positively impacted the lives of more than 10 000 children in seven African countries. CITW’s Eco-Clubs comprise a structured programme that gives interested primary school students a chance to learn, discuss and expand their knowledge of environmental issues with fellow schoolmates. CITW is now proudly running 60 Eco-Clubs and has also hosted nearly 7 000 children and 402 teachers at 207 annual Eco-Club Camps over the past 18 years.
“We are looking forward to inspiring our new learners at Tshwaragano Primary School and to continue focusing on facilitating sustainable conservation through leadership development; reaching more children, more often.”Lesh Moiteela – CITW Botswana Programme Coordinator