November 2014 – Wilderness Safaris is delighted to announce that its non-profit Children in the Wilderness (CITW) organisation has won the PURE Award for Community Engagement.
“We are honoured to receive such esteemed recognition for our efforts, particularly as this award represents the opinion of our valued network of travel trade partners who play a vital role in the work that we do. As a result of their amazing support we are able to increase our outreach, creating a network of sanctuaries that uplifts and cares for our children and conserves our planet”, said Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Programme Director.
Now in its second year, the PURE Awards forms part of the annual PURE Life Experiences travel trade event in Morocco, celebrating excellence in the field of high-end experiential travel. After the judging panel selected a shortlist of finalists for six categories, PURE attendees voted for the most deserving initiative in each one.
The Community Engagement category was defined by PURE as an initiative that “strategically and sensitively integrates the local community, aligning itself with the values and priorities of the inhabitants and protecting the authenticity of the culture, while enriching the experience of the traveller.”
CITW aims to facilitate sustainable conservation by educating children from rural areas on their natural heritage, thus inspiring them to become custodians of these areas in the future. A selection of Wilderness Safaris and partner camps are closed to paying guests for a few days each year in order to host three- to five-day educational and fun-filled programmes. Since 2001, some 5 000 children in seven southern African countries have participated in CITW camps.
Rural children also participate in weekly CITW Eco-Clubs, run throughout the year as part of the school curriculum, providing opportunities to meet, learn and expand their knowledge of environmental issues while embarking on environmental projects and initiatives. More than 2 000 children have become members of 67 Eco-Clubs throughout Africa.
Click here to learn more about CITW and its various projects.