The Conservation Leadership Project plays a significant role in raising a generation of leaders that bring change within our local schools and communities. In its 9th year, the Leadership Project aims to actively engage with learners in grades seven to twelve who have a passion for nature and a desire to bring positive change. The project currently supports three groups consisting of 43 students, with the latest group of grade seven learners enrolled in 2021. The project continues to provide exciting opportunities in which learners participate in various ways connecting to nature with the hopes of growing conservation champions.
Whether learners are attending a City Nature Challenge session with the Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area and collecting vital fauna and flora data or getting their hands dirty and learning the impacts of waste on our local beach areas with the SOS Shark Education Centre, the project continues to boast of its hands-on, and holistic approach to equipping and mentoring our future leaders.
Connecting to nature activities remains our prime goal, and the day-to-day challenges remain a constant reality for many of these learners. Over the past term, learners from the 2017 and 2019 groups had the privilege of engaging with the Hope House Counselling members and learned vital tools of how to deal with anxiety in an ‘Anxiety and Me’ workshop. Through such engagements, learners are further equipped to recognise the importance of their mental health and identify healthy ways in managed anxiety caused by various challenges.
“The ‘Anxiety and Me’ workshop was very informative and brought about self-discovery, which we did not know about. Learning about it was hard at first but became more straightforward and understandable. It empowered us to recognise our ability to focus and ultimately find healthy ways to control our anxieties. The facilitators made the topic of anxiety very easy to understand and gave us a chance to tell our story. It also provided a safe space for all of us to share and got us to know each other on an emotional level. It was also great to see that we are not alone and that anxiety does not determine who we are and becoming. We look forward to more events like these which help us deal with mental illness or equip us to become a better you – this is truly helpful to us as we continue to go navigate school, life, and our responsibilities as high schoolers and Conservation Leaders” – Sheradon September, Jumah Alih and McKayla Hendricks (2017 Group)
As each learner develops, the Leadership Projects strives to continue to be the catalyst in equipping learners with solution-based knowledge to many social, environmental, and economic challenges; to nurture a passion and desire to conserve and protect nature, and to grow a generation of leaders that are actively participating in being a change in our communities!