September 2014 – The US Embassy in Botswana has donated USD71 000 (BWP625 000) to Children in the Wilderness (CITW). This generous contribution will be used to fund CITW’s sustainable education programmes for rural schoolchildren in Botswana.
On 4 September, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Botswana, Michael J. Murphy, along with several colleagues from the US Embassy, visited Shashe Primary School in Maun to see some of the CITW projects first hand. They were welcomed by Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, Grant Woodrow, the Head of Shashe Primary School, Dorcus Segadimo, as well as the members of both the children and adult Eco-Clubs. He then announced that a total of USD59 000 would be allocated to CITW’s Eco-Club programme which encourages children to learn about the unique natural environment that surrounds them. The programme forms part of the normal school curriculum and uses interactive sessions to involve children in projects that benefit both the community and the environment.
The US Chargé d’Affaires was met by children from Shashe Primary School and members of the Shashe Women’s Club.
“We are extremely thankful for this kind and generous donation from the US Embassy. It is through the support of our partners that we are able to continue making great strides in providing rural communities with opportunities to expand their knowledge of environmental issues”, said Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, Grant Woodrow.
“The children that participate in these Eco-Clubs will come to appreciate the Okavango Delta, which we hope will ignite a lifelong interest in science and conservation that propels these children into careers as the future custodians of these magnificent areas”, said Mr. Murphy. He also highlighted that these funds will also be used to carry out further teacher training.
A further USD12 000 (BWP105 000) has been allocated to CITW’s Empowering Women Project, which assists local women with start-up capital and business guidance, thereby creating sustainable economies in rural communities. The pilot project was launched in Maun earlier this year and plans are in place to roll out similar initiatives elsewhere in Botswana. The US Embassy donation will allow for intensified mentoring and training of the women, as well as provision of supplies that will enable them to create, market and sell their products.
For more information on Children in the Wilderness, view its latest Annual Report.