We have quite a few charities that run hand in hand that help both conservation and local communities. Our two main conservation programs are Root to Fruit and Children in the Wilderness.
Root to Fruit
Malawi is being deforested very rapidly. Many rural communities are reliant on firewood to cook and to provide warmth and light. The problem is not going to go away any time soon. Initiated by Master Banda and Children in the Wilderness kids, an indigenous nursery was started at Chintheche to provide saplings to communities to begin reforesting their areas. In 2012 we formed a partnership with a Swedish Company, Southbound and its owner, Ralf Holmstrom and formed a tree planting company named Root to Fruit. The company is run on strictly commercial lines. Two plots of land have been purchased and 12 people are permanently employed.
To connect Root to Fruit with our eco-tourism operation, CAWS launched the ‘Tree with Every Trip’ initiative, through which guests travelling with the company can opt to add USD 2 to their trip, which will go towards planting a tree in Chintheche and offsetting atleast a small amount of the carbon emissions that their journey might generate.
The nursery at Chintheche Inn itself comprises both tree growing mini ‘farms” and demonstration plots to hand on the knowledge of successful tree planting to interested communities. Several different types of tree are planted- Indigenous trees to reclaim natural forests from traditional slash and burn agriculture plots, wide rooted indigenous trees to be planted on river courses and headwaters to bind soil together and lessen erosion and wash off, fast growing trees-both indigenous and exotic to be used for firewood, and fruit trees to sell commercially.
Since its inception Root to Fruit has planted over 100,000 trees-. Seedlings are nurtured to a certain height and then distributed and out planted to communities in the area. The crucial element of this project is that we have set ourselves a goal of a 70% survival rate and regularly visit the out planted areas to see if this is being achieved.
Children in the Wilderness
Children in the Wilderness Malawi’s camp programme will celebrate 15 years of success this year. Each year, CAWS closes down one of its camps to paying guests, to host 70 children at three one-week camps. The camps are held at Chintheche Inn or Mvuu Camp and follow a comprehensive curriculum and a variety of activities are conducted to promote learning whilst instilling team work and confidence in the young participants.
Insight, care and commitment are required to conserve Africa’s pristine wilderness and wildlife areas. If we are to ensure that these places continue to exist – in this generation and those to come – we need the children who call these areas home, to understand the importance of conservation and its relevance in their lives. Hence, our Children in the Wilderness programme: an environmental and life skills educational programme for children, focuses on the next generation of decision-makers; inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future.
We are also proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects. Children in the Wilderness is a non-profit organization supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris and CAWS in Malawi, to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa.