Making a Difference: Children in the Wilderness

March 21, 2012  By: Gretchen

Botswana continues to be keen on instilling the importance of conservation with local children. Children in the Wilderness, which began operating in 2001 as an environmental and life skills educational program, continues to help bridge the divide that exists between communities and wildlife. This program not only teaches children the importance of conservation, but strives to inspire in them a passion for the environment so that they can one day become the custodians of these wilderness areas.

2011 was another busy year for the program. At Limpopo Camp, Children in the Wilderness put their focus on the next generation of rural decision makers. Coming from the nearby Lentswe le Moriti School, situated in the village within the boundaries of the Northern Tuli Reserve, 16 children were exposed to their wildlife heritage, built and strengthened their capabilities to cope with life’s challenges, and educated on the life skills necessary to actualize their greatest potential. Out of these 16 children, nine had been on a previous camp and therefore this camp was treated as more of a “follow-up camp” with a higher level of learning.

Highlights of the camp were the game drives, which included some very exciting sightings. The children witnessed a cheetah and her cub preying on a young kudu. Lion, elephant, jackal, hyena and an abundance of plains game were also spotted. Ending on a very positive note, the outcome was a win-win for all. The children were inspired to strive to achieve their utmost potential and inspired many little ambassadors in the peripheral villages!

A number of successful projects and results have come about from the Children in the Wilderness Limpopo program: Community clubs have been initiated in the schools, a wonderful vegetable garden has been started in the Lentswe le Moriti community and the building of a school playground for the children at the Motlhabaneng Village Primary School is also in the pipeline.

Interested in knowing more about Children in the Wilderness, and how you can help their efforts?  Click here.

Photo and story courtesy Botswana Tourism