Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?
Children in the Wilderness is a not-for-gain association partnered by Wilderness Safaris. It is in a very strong position organizationally with the support from its main partner WS. Financially WS contribute the use of the lodges for over 4 weeks a year to the programme, during this time the lodges are closed to paying guests.
CITW is also reliant on cash donations throughout the year to run the camps, these come from local businesses, the Wilderness Trust and guests of Wilderness Safaris. CITW is also in need of a substantial donation in order to strengthen the follow up programme.
How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.
CITW is currently financed through:
1. Contributions ‘in kind’ to the camps such as car hire, camping equipment, food etc.
2. Wilderness Safaris donates the use of the camps, the salary of the CITW General Manager, office space and general administration costs, permits and park fees and insurance.
3. Cash donations from local businesses, guests of WS, the Wilderness Trust and fundraising events
Annual budget 2008/2009: US$ 132,000 Of this:
1. US$ 38,200 - donations ‘in kind’
2. US$ 47,000 - Wilderness Safaris (cash and kind)
3. US$ 46,800 - cash donations*
Annual Revenue Generated- In year ending Feb 2008 cash donations totaled: US$ 19,500
Size of full-time staff- 1 General Manager
Volunteer staff.- 15 (WS staff and other volunteers)
*This is incorporating increased capacity building for CITW follow up program hence the difference between the amount we need in cash donations to the amount received year ending Feb 2008
What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.
To enable Children in the Wilderness to expand our approach we would like to build the capacity of the follow-up program. We would like a follow up program coordinator to regularly visit all the communities that have benefited from their children attending camps. On these outreach visits the coordinator would build on the learning experiences of camp and re-focus this to the environment surrounding the communities. By empowering the children to care about their surroundings CITW aims to make the learning the kids have achieved on camp sustainable and relevant to their own lives.
What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?
The biggest challenge to Children in the Wilderness is maintaining a long term relationship with the kids after camp. It is imperative to keep in touch with all of the children to enable the program to become sustainable, to evaluate its impact and continue the learning within the children’s communities. In these rural communities communication links are non existent for the children, once they move villages/ schools CITW sometimes loses touch with them. To expand the follow up program and have a coordinator regularly visiting these kids we would not only keep them focused on the conservation messages that they learnt on camp but would also enable the coordinator to find those kids who have moved and spread the messages to their new communities. It is also important to keep the chaperone/ contact person within the community trained and motivated in all aspects of the CITW program enabling them to be the children’s immediate point of contact and activity coordinator. In order to do this regular training workshops are needed for all the local CITW community contacts.