Meet Sue Goatley - Children in the Wilderness

Mar 12, 2018 Community and Culture
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Currently the Community Liaison and Programme Coordinator for Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Zambezi, Sue’s passion for community empowerment dates back to the beginning of her career as a young teacher in the rural schools of Zimbabwe.

As a proud Zimbabwean, Sue’s career has been shaped by her belief in the transformative power of education. Her long-term commitment lies in using her teaching skills to help uplift young people from disadvantaged communities, while her experience in teaching has contributed immensely to her deeply-held conviction that education is the means to open a world of opportunities for her students. When not actively teaching, Sue assisted with extramural activities designed to help children develop holistically through sports, drama and outreach volunteering.

After several years as the Deputy Headmistress of Victoria Falls Primary School, Sue joined Wilderness Safaris with the objective of implementing her ideas in the wider community. When she initiated the establishment of CITW Zimbabwe she was able to use a healthy balance of both teaching and extramural activities in order to inspire and encourage young minds.

“I have a passion in education for marginalised communities, especially in the areas of Early Childhood Development, curriculum development and teacher support”, explained Sue. “I believe that by providing a good foundation in literacy, mathematics and environmental education to the rural population, hope and ambition can be restored”.

Through the CITW programme Sue has been ideally placed to help facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and the education of rural children in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Drawing on her pedagogical background, she has focused on the in-situ training of Early Childhood Development teachers in literacy, arithmetic and English as a second language.

In this way, Sue is able to express her passion for developing the future of rural communities through providing the best learning outcomes and education in early childhood. Her work involves regular visits to villages in Zambia and Zimbabwe to assess their needs and identify potential areas for engagement.

To ensure that the positive effects achieved during CITW Camps are not diminished over time, Sue has compiled a user-friendly three-year environmental education curriculum for Eco-Clubs in primary schools in the Zambezi region. Eco-Clubs give all learners a chance to learn, discuss and expand their knowledge of environmental issues.

There are now CITW Eco-Clubs at 15 Zambian and Zimbabwean schools, and a major part of Sue’s role involves ensuring their success. In addition, she facilitates and oversees the CITW Scholarship Programme, volunteer programme and Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Programme in this region – again extending the positive reach of education, this time to older students who will soon be in the frontlines of conservation and rural development.

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