Great Plains Conservation supports approximately 450 children ages 5 to 13. Conservation education provides a way to engage youth with the natural world at a pivotal time in their lives. Great Plains’ Student Conservation Camps are one of the longest running programs of our Foundation. Since the program began more than ten years ago, we have reached hundreds of students (and teachers) both in their communities and schools, and in Great Plains camps with environmental and conservation education.
In Botswana, our Conservation Education programs and kids’ camps are carried out in partnership with schools in five rural communities, north of the Okavango Delta, that are part of the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) the villages of Seronga, Eretsha, Gudigwa, Beetsha and Gunutsoga.
In addition to conservation education, the Great Plains Foundation supports a range of other school needs including school supplies, teachers’ salaries and school feeding programs in the countries where we operate safari camps. The needs list below reflect items that are used in our annual kids’ camp activities in Botswana as well as items requested by the schools in the five OCT communities that we partner with.
General School Supplies:
Book Bags, Chalk, Crayons, Dry-Erase Markers, Erasers, Glue Sticks, Handheld Pencil Sharpeners, Solar Lantern Lights, and Wide-Ruled Paper
(English) Alphabet, Math, and Word
Laminated Wall Charts:
(English) Human Body, Language, Math, Science, and World Maps
(English) Age-Appropriate Story Books, Biology, General Science, Health, Language/Grammar, and Math
*Non-Sneaker Black School Shoes for Children Ages 5 to 13
Flash Drives/Memory Sticks, Tablets, USB Cables, and Working Laptops
Netball/Basketballs, Soccer Balls, and Team Uniforms/Kits for Soccer
Markers, Pencils, Pens, and Scissors
Bars of Soap, Combs, Deodorant, Sanitary Napkins, Toothbrushes, and Toothpaste
Listed on this page are the specific needs requested by the community project(s) so you can choose exactly what to pack for a purpose and express your gratitude to the local community with the supplies you take them. If you prefer, you may reach out directly to them to inquire about items which may be available for purchase locally. Arranging visits to community projects is beyond the scope of our mission. If you wish to visit a project, contact the participant and they can let you know what is possible.
Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.
Instead of taking candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.