Duda – My First Impression…

Dec 18, 2012 Community and Culture
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The first days of the camp were extraordinary for both me and the children – the children are learning and are have loads of fun at the same time.

The kids were flown into Banoka with Wilderness Air (a first for all of them). Once the plane landed, the children were divided into groups and then headed for the camp. Once the groups arrived at camp, each group was given different colour bandanas and the groups then had to come up with team names. The groups were divided into boy and girl teams of the same age and were led by two mentors who were responsible for leading their group and coordinating their efforts during activities as well as keeping count of their team members.

The different colour bandanas made the counting of team members very easy and helped all the activities flow smoothly, plus the kids loved having their unique team colour. As I was a team mentor, I was really happy with the unique CITW colour scheme. Apart from team names and team colours, the first activity was for each team to draw their favourite animal – and this then became the team mascot.

The programme is designed in such a way that it teaches the local children the importance of conservation and wildlife as well as important life lessons. Each activity is specifically designed to focus on one specific subject in a way that is fun and engaging for the children.

One activity in particular caught my attention – it was the lesson about the geography of the Okavango. As the Okavango is unique ecosystem, it is really important to understand what makes this area unique and what causes the natural processes in the Delta. After having a ‘traditional class’ with Uncle Bones (the nickname for one of the camp staff), the kids were tested in a very fun way .In my opinion, this activity reflected the essence of CITW – learning in a fun way!

Basically the children and their mentors drew the various major watercourses of the Delta into a sand bed, defining all the major landmasses, and after a brief lesson on how the Delta was formed, the fun part followed. Uncle Bones poured some water into the ‘top’ of the Delta, and this clearly illustrated how the water flows down from Angola and filters through the Delta during the annual inundation. I really like the practical and fun aspect of this activity, and I will definitely try this in Brazil. Click here to view the video.

Wilderness is all about sharing knowledge and changing lives and I’m really happy that I can learn from them and help change lives back at home.

Till next time,

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By Duda Souza

Duda was part of the Wilderness family for three months, focusing the Children in the Wilderness camps in Botswana. She is from Brazil and runs a similar community project called Save Xingu. We thoroughly appreciated this great opportunity for all to swop ideas and learn from each other.

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