January 2016 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is proud to have been recognised as one of the runners up in the ‘Innovation and Excellence in Non-Governmental Organisations’ category at the UNWTO Awards held in Madrid, Spain on 20 January 2016.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards have been running since 2003 to honour the work being done in the tourism industry to benefit communities. These awards are considered a flagship for the global tourism sector, which recognise organisations focusing on knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications in tourism.
“We are honoured to receive this accolade in the NGO category for our innovation in facilitating sustainable conservation through leadership development of rural children in Africa. We are also proud to be associated with all the other finalists who are involved in exceptional community empowerment projects across the globe, showcasing and sharing examples of best practice in our industry”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Programme Director.
CITW has been running annual camps and Eco-Clubs in seven African countries since 2001, focusing on programmes that inspire leadership and life skills development, sustainable environmental education and recreation. To date, over 5 600 children have been on CITW camps and annually, over 2 500 children participate in Eco-Clubs.
CITW is also involved in various community development and livelihood diversification programmes to reduce poverty, improve living conditions and enhance local education systems. This includes improving school infrastructure, water provision, teaching materials and nutritional programmes. Its innovative Adult Eco-Club programme connects parents and children in environmental activities and empowers women through these groups. A number of students have also been assisted with tertiary education sponsorships and/or internship programmes to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.
“The camaraderie at the UNWTO Awards Forum and Gala Dinner was fantastic, with everyone very supportive and encouraging of other category entrants. The Forum was also an excellent platform to learn from other projects and to share best practices, opening many potential future partnerships through networking between organisations across the globe”, added Dr Snyman.
Click here to watch a short video about CITW.
Left: CITW Programme Director, Sue Snyman (far right) at the UNWTO Awards; Middle: CITW facilitates numerous environmental education programmes