It is not always obvious, at first, how sport and conservation might be connected, but as Prince William said
“Coaching for Conservation is a brilliant idea, it is brilliant because it is simple. Most of us like sports, and all of us, If we just stop and think, love animals and the natural world around us. By combining the two, Coaching for Conservation is teaching us to value both”. HRH, Prince William, Maun, Botswana, 2010. Watch the video here
Coaching for Conservation® (C4C) is a wildlife conservation initiative aimed at inspiring children to be more empathetic towards wildlife and the struggles they face. It is based on two fundamental principles. First, you cannot value something until you know something about it, and secondly, learning takes place best in an interactive and fun environment, delivered by great mentors.
“While working on my graduate studies in Anthropology throughout the 1990’s - as a research project of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, I focused on The factors that affect human behaviours and attitudes towards wildlife. I struggled with the question of how to reach people with our conservation messages.
It became clear that what we were asking; which was for people to care about the fate of endangered wildlife when they have very little faith in their own futures – was a lot to ask!
We had to move away from traditional knowledge based programs in order to have any meaningful behaviour change.
We realized that we needed to address fundamental values and change the relationship people have with themselves and with their environment. The starting point is to have respect for yourself and your own health and from there to choose to have a future. Then, and only then can we start talking about what that future is going to look like.
By using soccer as a medium, we strive to engender self-respect, team spirit and a sense of well being in children; elements that are the foundation of a caring society. By weaving conservation and respect messages into football skills and drills, C4C aims to build a relationship of empathy between children and animals and develop an interest for wildlife from a young age.” Lesley McNutt, Director of C4C.
Our goal is move children from kids being told they should Care…to kids who do Care
Our primary objective is to inspire a generation of KIDS WHO CARE about themselves, others and the natural world around them.
We do this through C4C’s unique Learning from Wildlife model that presents the magnificent wildlife as animal icons and mentors that each possess highly developed skills. Like elite athletes, these learned skills and strategies help each animal to thrive and to be resilient in times of adversity, just as our children need to be.
The iconic charismatic mega fauna of Africa exemplify these characteristics. Lions for example, work as a team to hunt successfully, just as a soccer team must work together on the field. Rhino are the landscape architects of the bush, creating space for other animals to live in. They are exemplary in defending their territory and what is theirs, while being surprisingly fast and able to change direction quickly.
On the field; children learn mechanisms of defence and quick change of direction, and off the field; children learn to defend and protect what is important to them and also to change direction in school or social situations if thing are not going well.
Youth need to be targeted and engaged beyond the normal education process if there is to be an improvement in concern and action by a) giving them a choice to act and b) the tools to act well.
Coaching for Conservation is a proven model that engages children at the ideal age where they are cognitively aware enough to understand the concepts and issues, and have not yet defined their own personal belief system and ethos. It is the only time to allow them to make a choice to care and to define their own appreciations and values. To affect real change, we need to expand our reach exponentially.
We hope to make Coaching for Conservation® the new metric by which to engage and influence young people across the country and across the globe, to become Kids Who Care.
Small contributions make a big difference to our cause.
We are working hard to change the way kids engage with each other and their environment.
Our many partners help ensure we can deliver great education and inspiration, but to inspire more kids to care, we need your help! Please help us - help kids - help wildlife.
Donate using the following links below:
1. UK - JUST GIVING
2. US, (tax deductible donations) received via Wild Entrust International
3. Or, to make a donation directly to our Registered Charitable Trust in Botswana (MA85/2008), Cheques can be mailed to:
Botswana Predator Conservation Trust Private Bag 13 Maun, Botswana
or Wire Transfer to:
Bank: First National Bank
Swift Code of Branch: FIRNBWGX
Branch Code: 282367
Account Name: Botswana Predator Conservation Trust
Account Number: 62177349638 (First National Bank, Maun Branch,Maun, Botswana.Phone 267 6860919)