January 2014 – Wilderness Collection’s North Island in Seychelles recently closed its doors to paying guests to host a group of 29 Seychellois children on an educational, fun and rewarding ‘Children in the Wilderness’ (CITW) camp. Taking place from 9-12 December 2013, the camp offered 25 rural children from Mahé and four from Praslin a life-changing conservation experience in one of Africa’s most exclusive private islands.
Held in collaboration with the National Council for Children (NCC) and with the support of Mason’s Travel, North Island hosted the children in its luxury villas for four days. A full programme was put together to ensure that they were able to experience the wonders of the island, whilst at the same time learning about the importance of conservation and its relevance in their lives. Activities included singing, dancing, tree planting, team building, scuba diving and tug of war, as well as various life skills lessons to encourage them to dream, hope and to realise their true potential in making a difference to our world.
“It was a great pleasure to host the camp at North Island and to watch the incredible change taking place in the children over the four days, especially in terms of their confidence, self-esteem and sense of pride in their natural heritage. To ensure the longevity of the Island and its unique species, we will continue to support this incredible programme to educate and inspire our neighbouring rural children to be the future custodians of our natural areas”, said Wayne Milgate, North Island General Manager.
Held on the final day, the camp’s closing ceremony was attended by Seychelles Minister of Education, Macsuzy Mondon and Designated Minister, Vincent Meriton. This was made possible thanks to the support of Zil Air who flew the Ministers to the island free of charge. Minister Meriton urged the children to take advantage of their right to education, to grasp it with both hands and to study hard in order to be able to achieve their dreams. “We hope that the camp has done just that and inspired the children to dream and pay it forward to their peers and families”, Milgate added.
Issued by: Children in the Wilderness
Tel: + 27 11 807 1800
Notes to Editor
About Children in the Wilderness www.childreninthewilderness.com
Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is an environmental and life skills educational programme that focuses on the next generation of rural decision makers, developing environmental leaders who are inspired to care for their natural heritage so that they become the custodians of these areas in the future. By exposing the children to their wildlife heritage, CITW aims to create a network of learning sanctuaries that uplifts, conserves and cares for our children and our planet.
The programme makes use of camp programmes, run at Wilderness Safaris lodges, as well as Eco-Clubs, run at schools in areas that neighbour the wild areas in which Wilderness Safaris operates.
CITW aims to develop leadership values amongst the participants, so as to create leaders who are inspired to care for their legacy and can show others the way.
CITW was initiated after a visit by the actor Paul Newman to Botswana in 2001. His organisation, the Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, is dedicated to offering educational and recreational camps for children with life-threatening conditions in America and Europe. Inspired and assisted by this organisation, the programme began in Botswana in December 2001 and has since been successfully implemented in the other southern African countries where Wilderness Safaris operates: Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Seychelles.
About Wilderness Collection www.wilderness-collection.com
The Wilderness Collection is a hand-picked portfolio of progressive and innovative destinations in iconic areas of Africa and its islands. All of the destinations share a philosophy of building environmental, social and financial equity and of raising global awareness around sustainability.
Refined and elegant, each location is dedicated to unashamed, but sustainable, luxury and exceptional guest experiences. From the barefoot opulence of North Island, to the architectural sophistication and elephant ambassadors of Abu Camp, the rainforest discovery and lowland gorilla encounters of Odzala and the cultural journey and modern conservation concept of Segera, the Wilderness Collection is firmly rooted in striving to provide truly unique and authentic experiences for our guests.
About North Island www.north-island.com
North Island is one of Africa’s most exclusive private islands, situated 30km from the main island of Mahé, Seychelles. Extremely isolated with only 11 spacious guest villas, North Island is renowned for its luminous white beaches, filigree reefs and azure Indian Ocean.
North Island offers an unrivalled all-inclusive experience where guests are able to choose whatever they want to do and eat, whenever and wherever – private beach dinners being a firm favourite. On land or in water, the choices on North Island are many and varied – from cool forest trails and mountain biking to snorkelling, diving, kayaking, fishing expeditions and romantic sunset boat cruises.
North Island is a sanctuary where natural habitats, long neglected, were rehabilitated so that endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be reintroduced and given a place to grow and thrive.