We facilitate experiences in nature that change the way young people see themselves and feel about protecting the environment. Our aim is to educate and empower young people through connecting them with nature and instilling an attitude of reverence and respect for the natural environment.
Participants learn about our research projects first hand, visiting leopard kill sites, doing river water assessments and setting up a camera trap. They come to understand the threats of alien invasive plants (fire & water-catchment management); question the impact of illegal hunting and the use of wire snares (over-utilisation); as well as the far-reaching effects of poisons and pesticides; habitat loss, species fragmentation and degradation.
Our objectives are to
- Change the practices of young people and their communities through experiential education.
- Foster a relationship between young people and the environment.
- Raise awareness about human-wildlife conflict issues.
- Link research and conservation efforts to young people and the public through supporting national curriculum, youth development organisations and school activities.
- Increase the accessibility of conservation and environmental education to disadvantaged communities.
How we do it
The Programme has two components:
- Wilderness Camps ranging from two to five days held in the Cederberg, Groot Winterhoek, Boland and other wilderness areas.
- Cape Town activities such as eco clubs, day trips, presentations, exhibits and holiday programmes.
Programmes are tailored to the needs of a particular school or organization and are adapted according to current environmental challenges and recent research findings. The iconic leopard is used as a catalyst to provoke changes in knowledge and practice.
Who we work with
Our programme currently reaches over 5500 children annually.
We primarily work with learners between the ages of 10 and 18 from Rural and Urban communities; however, we also adapt our programme to other ages and contexts. Many of our activities are held in partnership with schools and organisations but we are also able to offer opportunities to self-organized groups. Our qualified educators take groups out on educational and memorable trips in the beautiful natural surroundings. The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) has sponsored a 21-seater bus to the Cape Leopard Trust. We make this bus available to groups at a minimal cost.
One of our goals is to provide opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. To this end we sponsor approximately 70% of our activities.