We are honoured to have won the Mail & Guardian Newspaper’s “Greening the Future Award” for Youth Leadership!
Our Conservation Leadership Programme was awarded this category, and the Mail & Guardian explains that “the current generation of leaders and decision-makers are handing over a polluted world with rising carbon levels. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the youth, who need to stand up and become the climate leaders of tomorrow.” We are extremely proud of our young conservation champions and can’t wait to see what their futures hold!
Our Conservation Leadership Programme, started in 2013, was born out of a desire to have a more pronounced effect on youth impassioned about the environment than a once-off outdoors camp could enable. Through the various interactions we have with school children during our environmental education camps and the Eco-Schools Programme we identify the most enthusiastic of these children to take further in conservation. Through mentoring, environmental action, outdoor activities and trips to nature reserves outside of Cape Town we nurture and grow these children’s love for nature for the last seven years of their schooling. Through this process we are growing their passion for the environment and introducing them to ways they can be champions for nature. Their involvement in extra activities such as beach and river clean-ups empowers them to make a difference in their communities.
The older groups develop their leadership skills by mentoring the younger groups, becoming mentors themselves and growing the ‘family’ feel. Whilst we hope to direct some of the children into the Green economy through career guidance we do not see this as an essential outcome. The ultimate result is that we are creating youth who believe in the importance of environmental protection.