BOTSWANA FLAGSHIP EXPERIENCE
Thank you, Maria for organizing this trip for our kids. I think it has changed their lives and has changed their way of thinking about life and the future.
This should be a testament to you; of changing young people’s lives and being a complete influencer when it comes to ‘changing the world’. The kids are changed human beings because of this trip. Thank you for being part of growing our kids.
Norah Papanicolaou (parent)
Going to Botswana to help with conservation was one of the most enriching and enlightening experiences of my life so far. Being able to take part in something far bigger than myself was an opportunity I’m so thankful for and will never forget! The animals, the people and the activities all make for a truly spectacular home away from home!
I am so proud of our children and I am so glad that there are initiatives like these around so they can experience them and bring some goodness to our planet. Thank you for bringing this positivity to our children.
Anika Norcott (parent)
Botswana brought a feeling of simplicity and calmness; a sense of being grounded and connecting with nature. I really loved being totally immersed in nature and not having the stresses of city life – phone, drama and crazy responsibilities. I felt like I was a part of something, a part of a bigger group that I was totally included in and was helpful in some way.
(Georga, 17 years)
My son spoke to me constantly, non-stop, for two hours, telling me about his experience. ‘I had the best time of my life’, he says. Thank you @youth4conservation from the bottom of our hearts. This experience is a genuine life changer.
Laura Lykkegaard (Parent)
Just to say a big thank to you firstly for conceptualising and creating Youth 4 Conservation, and secondly for arranging the Cedar House Volunteer Camp at Wild at Tuli. Your planning and meticulous care to detail ensured that we as parents had total peace of mind, knowing our teenagers were exceptionally well cared for.
I believe Georga has returned from this camp more connected to nature, more grounded, and understanding the meaning of simplicity in our material world. Her participation in many areas of conservation during this camp have gone a long way in her understanding the importance of conservation and especially the youth of today`s involvement in the conservation of our fauna and flora. Her interaction with the owners are but one of her highlights, and their passion for what they do has stirred something within her as well.
Thank you for putting this camp together in such an outstanding manner.
Richard Key (Parent)
I had a life-changing experience volunteering in Botswana with the most incredible people. Thanks so much to everyone for making it what it was. Huge thanks to @youth4conservation and @wildattuli for making it all possible.
Luke (15 years)
I have just spent the most rewarding 8-9 days in Botswana, volunteering for wildlife conservation. It was hard but necessary labour. I have experienced a high level of camaraderie with existing friends, and I also shared that spirit with wonderful new friends and the amazing staff @wildattuli. What did this do for me? I grew. It brought out the best in me, gave me direction, confirmed what I believe in. Thank you for a life changing experience.
(Silas, 17 years)
The most wholesome experience of my life with the most amazing people and memories that I will cherish for life!”
(Eleanor, 17 years)
I found Botswana an inspiring and humbling experience. To work hard for an impactful goal and to share it with a such a fantastic group of likeminded people was beyond rewarding.
(Laina, 17 years)
Our daughter Georga who is almost 18 chose to do the volunteer camp in Botswana, looking forward to a new experience with no contact whatsoever with her family or friends. The concept of doing something meaningful and giving back was another positive in her choice.
Georga returned after being away for 10 days with a shift in her outlook because of many experiences she had, all positive.
She did not have one negative comment to make , she flourished with the teamwork ,physical labour, early nights after a long, hot day and true sense of community. She proudly told us of her use of a pick axe, panga and rock transportation.
There were lots of stimulating conversations regarding conservation which educated her and has her wanting to return for a much longer stint which shows how meaningful this experience was.
From a parent’s point of view, this was the most valuable and value for money school trip by far.
Gillian Key (Parent)
The Youth4Conservation camp, which my son Tim attended in March 2019, completely exceeded my expectations. My son (15 yrs) came back with huge enthusiasm and stories of their 8-day involvement in many, varied aspects of Biodiversity Research and Conservation in the Tuli Block area of Botswana.
I have yet to watch the final, edited video (which my son is editing), but the little I have seen shows all the kids getting seriously stuck into digging, breaking ground and using pick-axes to create a waterhole. I gather they also fixed fences, looked for snares, repaired roads and assisted in applying anti-soil erosion measures. They were never idle and it was evident that they all got involved and worked hard to make a difference in the time they were there.
Tim came home with a comprehensive bird list, stories of the various wildlife sightings, tales of sleepouts and fireside chats. He really enjoyed engaging with the rangers and camp staff, and I believe that all the kids bonded and gelled beautifully. The fact that there is no WiFi or option of using cell phones at all meant that the kids were thrust into engaging with one another and really bonding, which I feel is excellent at this age.
I was seriously impressed with Maria Hauck’s organisational abilities and professionalism – from start to finish, her capacity to organise the kids and the parents (!), to think of everything, arrange and collate all the paperwork, plane tickets and payments etc was superb. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and her genuine excitement and passion for the work being done by Youth4Conservation shows.
I would LOVE my son to return – next year or the year after! If he doesn’t, I will!
Karoline Hanks (Parent)