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We conduct high quality, low cost outdoor education programmes designed to challenge and change the lives of youth.

Environmental Education Fund

Environmental Education Fund

Within the environmental sector it is understood that people who participated in outdoor nature activities as children are more likely to have pro-environment behaviours and attitudes as an adult. Since the inception of CTEET in 2001 the primary aim has been to provide opportunities for children of Cape Town to experience the outdoors and in the process to develop a curiosity and interest for the natural environment. Through this process creating the opportunities for them reconnect with nature through a variety of programmes and activities.

Excursions away from the challenging home environment faced by many children in Cape Town provide not only a distraction but a platform to develop positive social feelings. Nature helps children to bring out more social feelings and value in oneself, community and relations1.

Over the years our scope has widened to focus on further development of individuals who are passionate about nature and hence the joining of the International Eco-Schools Programme and the creation of our Conservation Leadership Programme.

For more details have a look at our exciting campaign – Changing Lives Through Nature

The Environmental Education Fund includes:

  • Overnight Camps
  • Day Programmes
  • Eco-Schools Programme
  • Conservation Leadership Programme
28 935

Children have attended overnight camps

73 000

Environmental education through various interventions

48 000

Children in the Eco-Schools we support

Overnight Camps

Many an adult can attest to the fun and influence an outdoor camp had on them in their childhood with some pursuing a career or participation in environmental activities in their later life as a result. We make these opportunities available to children, many of whom will, without our intervention, never have the experience because of a lack of finances or school coordination.

Nestled in the heart of the Cape Flats, with the backdrop of the Cape Peninsula mountain range, lie some of the most important wetlands in South Africa namely Rondevlei, Zeekoevlei and Strandfontein encompassed by the 2000ha False Bay Nature Reserve. CTEET has been operating two camps at Zeekoevlei for the past 12 years, initially only using the camp fondly known as ZEEP (after the initial programme name) and later out of the False Bay Education Centre. Here, trained Field Rangers run fully guided Environmental Education Programmes for groups of 20-80 people.

Programmes are tailor made with client groups and range from 1 – 5 days with most schools opting for a 3 day programme. During this time, young people get in touch with nature and come to understanding their role in protecting our planet and conserving our natural heritage. Free of the glare and glitz of the city night-lights and malls, children can gaze up at the night sky whilst listening for the grunt and splash of a hippopotamus. Here they learn to appreciate nature, each other and themselves bringing healing, hope and a sense of belonging and purpose.

Conservation Leadership Programme

The Conservation Leaders Programme was born out of a desire to identify youth from our Eco-Schools that are passionate about the natural environment and who would like to play a role in effecting change in their homes and communities. Children are brought onto the programme when in Grade 6 (11-12 years of age) and through regular interactions are nurtured over the remaining 7 years of their schooling career. The “nurturing” is achieved through a variety of interventions such as community action, hiking and camping in wilderness areas and camping trips to conservation areas throughout South Africa. The intention is to mould a select group of youth who will be more environmentally conscious and if it so happens that they wish to pursue a career in the environmental sector that the foundation is laid and the correct subject choices are made at critical times in their school career. This coupled with career guidance and knowledge sharing will help us grow the conservation leaders of the future.

The programme was started in 2013 with the identification of 60 children, who over the year were whittled down to a core group of 20 and who now, after 3 years, have resulted in a dedicated group of sixteen 15-year olds. These in turn are mentoring the second cohort of 25 children who came out of their first year of the programme that started in 2015. As one headmaster said, “Not only are we noticing an improvement in these childrens’ grades but an overall improvement in their confidence and participation in classroom activities”.

Day Programmes

Realising that the costs of travel and an overnight camp can be prohibitive for many of the schools that we work with we offer 1-5hour programmes for schools, linking these to environmental celebrations such as arbor-day and water-week. The programmes offered are linked to the curriculum and give additional support to teachers with worksheets and activities designed to help assess the learning outcomes. We offer the programmes at our camp sites in Zeekoevlei but given the cost of travel, these programmes can also be run at the schools for an entire grade.

Eco-Schools Programme

The Eco-Schools Programme is an international programme run by FEE that started in 1992 and now has 48 000 schools registered in 58 countries worldwide. The aim of the programme is to encourage environmental awareness and behavioral change within schools that in turns spreads to the neighbouring communities.

In South Africa the programme is coordinated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of Southern Africa (WESSA) and has over 3000 schools registered on the programme. We believe that the Eco-Schools programme is a critical link in our efforts to change children’s mindset around environmental issues and for them to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the change that they can effect in their homes and communities.

Currently CTEET is involved with supporting over 50 Eco-Schools from two nodes in Cape Town. Despite most of these schools being situated in low income communities where access to resources is limited the projects undertaken are remarkable as is the ongoing commitment to the programme with many of the schools having been registered as Eco-Schools for more than 10 years.

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A day at the Vlei (1)
Clean up Westlake
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