June 2017 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is thrilled to release the second edition of its annual Eco-Stars magazine, which not only reveals the inner workings of the CITW programme and the fabulous people behind the scenes, but most importantly the gifted children themselves – the Eco-Stars!
For the last 16 years, CITW has focused on making a sustainable and positive difference in the lives of rural African schoolchildren and their families. This publication provides the ideal platform to tell some of these inspirational stories, from personal accounts from CITW Eco-Mentors, Eco-Club members and scholarship recipients, to collections of the children’s short stories, poetry and artwork. The magazine is available online, and will also be distributed at Wilderness Safaris camps throughout southern Africa.
“We had a lot of fun putting together the second edition of our magazine and are proud of this jam-packed issue which is full of heart-warming stories from both children and adults on our programme. In addition to featuring lots of colourful stories about our new Eco-Club members and their school activities and projects, it also highlights the success of CITW by including personal accounts from previous CITW participants who have gone on to make it in the workplace and further their studies”, noted Janet Wilkinson, CITW Programme Manager.
New things to look out for in this issue include CITW’s Adult Eco-Club programme and range of exciting livelihood diversification projects, a section on the YES (Youth Environmental Stewardship) Programme and an article highlighting the prestigious Nedbank Tour de Tuli mountain bike event – the main fundraiser for CITW. Another featured article covers CITW’s partnership with the South African Wildlife College (SAWC) which saw 16 students from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe attend a six-month Conservation and Environmental bridging course in South Africa. According to Wilkinson, this is a particularly exciting initiative, as scholarships, internships and ultimately job creation form a huge part of CITW’s programme structure.
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 2016, CITW had run camp programmes for over 5 900 children, with more than 2 700 children participating in 61 Eco-Clubs in 2016 and 418 children on its scholarship programme.
“We hope that you will sit back, enjoy reading our stories and be inspired to make a difference; in this way helping us to achieve our vision of pioneering sustainable conservation through leadership development”, Wilkinson concluded.
Click here to view a short video of CITW in action.