The Human-Wildlife Connection Programme
In September 2023, we will be launching our Wild Minds Programme - an annual programme that will work with different focus groups and take them on a journey of self-development, conservation, community engagement and connection. Connection to themselves, each other and the planet.
For the first Wild Minds programme we will be working with a group of 3 young Londoners and 3 young Zimbabweans; all from disadvantaged backgrounds, and all with limited access to - and experience of - the wonders of the natural world. For the young Londoners, we are working alongside the amazing London mentoring organisation, Mentivity. Our ambassador, Joseph, will be mentoring the young Zimbaweans.
Initially, each group will take part in 3 weekends of activities in their respective countries, where they will learn skills like bushcraft, teambuilding and map reading, whilst also starting to build a connection with the natural world around them.
After the Imire phase of the Wild Minds programme we will support any of the young people involved who may want to use the programme as a stepping stone into further conservation work or education, as well as opportunities to volunteer at Connected Planet Foundation.
We hope that with such wonderful exposure to important wildlife, the group will feel empowered to protect our planet and the wildlife we share it with for years to come, sharing their experience and their message through their communities when they return home.
You can donate to our Just Giving page and help us to make the Wild Minds programme a reality. Your donations will change lives. We thank you.
The groups will then meet for the Wild Minds programme, at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy, Zimbabwe. Here, in the true spirit of Ubuntu, the two groups will merge to become one and take part in a special 2-week programme where they will not only learn lots about each other and the natural world around them, but about themselves to.
They will be taking part in once in a lifetime activities like the monitoring of endangered wildlife such as black rhino and cheetah; helping to look after the biggest land mammal on the planet, the African Elephant; and supporting the day-to-day running of the conservancy - building connections to wildlife that will last a lifetime. Each day brings with it new challenges and new experiences and they will be surrounded by Africa's famous wildlife like giraffe, zebra, warthogs and much more.
As the group get to know each other they will also have the unique opportunity to support in the local community around Imire, helping to deliver vital resources like school equipment and sanitary pads, as well as aiding the community with any jobs that may need doing. Not only will this be a chance for the group to understand that they are part of the bigger picture, but it will also be a fantastic opportunity for them to share cultures, stories and ideas with people that they wouldn't ordinarily get the chance to meet.
In this special 2-week programme the group will be fully immersed in the Bush, staying at Imire's wilderness camp, which will enable them to feel the healing benefits of being surrounded by nature. Waking to the sounds of the dawn chorus and maybe even the odd rhino grazing around their safari tents and settling down to an African sunset that will leave them feeling in awe. They will also be taught about the land where humanity started, visiting ancient rock art, dating back tens of thousands of years. It will be the opportunity of a lifetime for the young people involved whilst also supporting the key community and conservation work that takes place at Imire.
UNLEASE YOUR WILD MIND
Just like our Wild Minds group, you can volunteer at Imire too and play your part in conserving Africa's wildlife. Click below to find out how to get a 15% discount.