The overall aim of this programme is to offer rural children a six-day life skills and environmental educational programme. This programme combines leadership, environmental education, life skills and recreation in a unique and safe wilderness environment.
We wish to increase the children's understanding and appreciation of the diversity of natural environments, as well as to demonstrate to the youth of rural communities the opportunities that exist for them. In addition, the programme is designed to increase self-esteem, teach new skills and impart knowledge to our children. The fundamental objectives of this programme are continued in the local communities with the support of our staff to ensure the principles learned on camp are continually reinforced and extended to the rest of the community.
Participants not only gain a better appreciation of their natural environment through different terrestrial and marine activities in the unique surroundings of the various wilderness areas, they also experience serious and powerful learning about themselves that can have a lasting and meaningful impact on their lives.
RESTORE A SENSE OF CHILDHOOD:
The programme aims to restore a sense of the playfulness and exuberance of childhood to youngsters whose lives have been disrupted by an external circumstance over which they have had no control, such as illness and economic disadvantage.
TO INSTIL A SENSE OF HOPE & RAISE SELF ESTEEM:
The programme creates a physically and emotionally safe and supportive environment in which youths can build self-confidence, discover their own unique strengths and learn how to incorporate these strengths into their challenging lives.
Among the tragic effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is the breakdown of the traditional extended family as a support network for children and youths. Children in the Wilderness intends to build a sense of family and community among its staff and participants.
DEVELOP NEW OPPORTUNITIES & CHOICES:
To increase awareness amongst the children of all the opportunities that exist in the fields of conservation and ecotourism. In addition, by teaching life skills, we hope to increase the children's ability to make healthy life choices for themselves and their environment.
We believe that by focusing on developing leadership skills amongst the children and teachers, we will assist the programme in achieving its core objective of facilitating sustainable conservation through leadership development. By developing environmental leaders we will ensure that the environmental and conservation concepts learned during camp are taken home and introduced to the wider community.
“Ngaveet Mburura showed great leadership qualities on camp, she was always helping the other children and leading by example. She would take the time to translate and explain to the others when they needed help. On the way home from camp the vehicle she was traveling in suffered a flat tyre. While sitting under a tree with the other children eating their lunch packs, she organized for everyone to donate am item from their pack to a couple of small children who were herding cattle near the road.”
(Anonymous Staff Member)
“The [Children in the Wilderness programme] totally changed the outlook of the kids after 4 days of educational activities. A great job in the education of our kids.”
(Nabasib Primary School, Headmaster, Namibia)
“I can’t believe all of this is for me.”
(Quiniso Children in the Wilderness Participant, South Africa)
“Camp enables you to grow, you grow physically and mentally, you expand your knowledge in knowing how to stand by yourself. You learn to stay away from different things that might be abusing to your wellbeing, which is very important and can be very helpful."
(Bridget Makamu- Children in the Wilderness Participant, South Africa)