Many children living in rural impoverished villages, right outside major conservation areas such as Kruger National park have never had the opportunity to see a rhino, or other iconic species. These children grow up cut off, or marginalised, and the result is that much poaching originates from these areas. It is important for us to link communities back to conservation areas, and unlock an understanding that wildlife is an African heritage, and there are opportunities that lie in protecting it.
Environmental education through an immersion experience in wildlife brings about transformation in the way a child thinks and sees nature. As Baba Dioum states, we protect only what we love, we love only what we understand, and we understand only what we are taught. Through our Green Kidz field trips, we show children wildlife as it is meant to be, and for many children this is their first experience in nature. Our goal is to create conservationists one child at a time!
Building a communities resilience through having children that understand the importance of nature, their role as its custodian, and the opportunities in protecting it can have long term impact. The children we take on field trips today will be the youth of tomorrow, the ones that make fundamental decisions as to whether to poach...or protect...our flagship species. These children go home after a trip, and speak to their families and friends, and become the voice of our wildlife.