February 2016 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural edition of its new annual publication, entitled ‘Eco-Stars’. The magazine introduces readers to the CITW programme, while at the same time shining the spotlight on the various people that bring it to life.
“For the last 15 years, CITW has focused on making a sustainable and positive difference in the lives of rural African schoolchildren and their families. This new publication provides the ideal platform to tell some of these encouraging stories, from personal accounts from CITW’s Eco-Mentors, Eco-Club members and scholarship recipients, to collections of the children’s short stories, poetry and artwork”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Programme Director.
The magazine is available online and will also be distributed at Wilderness Safaris camps throughout southern Africa. Each edition of the magazine will feature new stories and projects from CITW’s Eco-Stars, while also including some of the inspiring real life stories from previous CITW programme participants who have gone on to achieve their goals and secure successful careers in various fields. It also provides useful information on the various ways in which people can get involved and support the programme.
“We ran a magazine-naming competition amongst the various CITW Eco- and Youth Empowerment Stewardship (YES) Clubs, and the winners were the Makuleke YES Club, who came up with the name Eco-Stars. In the true spirit of the programme, the club decided to donate their prize of books and stationery to a more disadvantaged school in Zimbabwe”, adds Snyman.
CITW is a non-profit organisation supported by Africa’s leading sustainable ecotourism company, Wilderness Safaris. It is an environmental and life skills educational programme that focuses on the next generation of African rural decision makers, developing environmental leaders who are inspired to care for their natural heritage so that they become the custodians of these areas in the future. This is achieved in a variety of ways, from running regular Eco-Clubs at schools, to three-day camps at Wilderness Safaris and partner camps.
The programme currently operates in six countries: Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. By the end of 2015, CITW had run camp programmes for over 5 600 children, with more than 2 500 children participating in 58 Eco-Clubs in 2015 and 302 children on its scholarship programme.
Eco-Stars first edition, school library in Zimbabwe and CITW camp activity