We trust all are taking the necessary care and precautions to remain safe during this time of uncertainty.
As an organisation we believe our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of others and our environment. Whilst our natural world has benefited somewhat from the worldwide pause, we are keenly aware of the negative impacts of lockdown conditions – mentally, physically, socially and financially – along with real losses and limitations. We put our hope in the restoration process and trust we will all emerge with renewed strength and ideas for working together to improve the lives of those we serve.
Whilst our programmes have been put on hold, the CTEET team continues to work remotely to keep the wheels turning. Planning and strategic focus is a priority during this time, as are conversations with key stakeholders and funders, who have demonstrated invaluable support.
A large portion of our income stream has been affected as we are unable to implement our education programmes. However, this is an opportunity to review impacts and consider possible alternatives to mitigate the disconnection. The team is developing information packs to engage our online community, and to support teachers and parents to meet the requirements of the school syllabus whilst connecting people to nature. We realise the need for positive interaction with stakeholders by sharing fun and educational online resources and these will continue to be available as resources for teachers and parents after lockdown. However, we acknowledge that our commitment towards inclusivity and uplifting the marginalised youth through development of online resources is challenged through accessibility and we bear this in mind during the development process.
Although our training programmes have been halted during lockdown we are continuing to engage with the participants remotely to maintain their energy and enthusiasm for the environmental protection path they have chosen to embark on. Our conservation team had also halted their activities on the ground during lockdown and we are making every effort to have them back on site to continue their work as a matter of urgency.
Whilst looking at broader avenues for financial support, we are faced with the reality that most funding sources are being directed toward emergency responses and immediate needs such as food, water, sanitation, and shelter. Nonetheless, we are extremely grateful to our donors and partners who have been incredibly supportive and have enabled us to continue fostering a healthy relationship between the communities we serve and the natural resources we protect. The contributions, big or small, whether monetary or through sharing our news and creating awareness of our important role is most valuable. We believe that once restrictions are dropped our beneficiaries will need open, green spaces and be increasingly appreciative of experiential outdoors programmes, owing to the confinement experienced during lockdown.
We wish all our stakeholders the best of health and remind everyone to please follow the protocols to protect others, and yourselves.
With care and gratitude
Dr Anthony Roberts and the CTEET Team