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Sangeeta

Masai Mara Immersion Journey (An Educational Safari)

26 posts in this topic

This program has been a long time in the making but I am so proud of what we've ultimately created here in collaboration with Alex Walker's Serian Camps. As you can see from the brochure below, these educational safaris are intended to provide a deeply immersive safari experience to middle and high school kids. In addition to young people from the rest of the world, we're also working hard to attract 12-18 year old youngsters from Asia - with the hope that after they have lived through an incredibly interactive and engaging experience in that ultimate classroom - the Masai Mara - they will go home with a deeper appreciation of wildlife and begin the long task of changing & challenging deep-rooted traditions and mindsets in their own communities.

 

Each cohort at the camp is designed to have 18 participants, divided into 3 groups of 6 and the best case scenario for us would be groups of kids from different continents attending camp simultaneously for a truly enriching & global experience.

 

Alex & Robyn at Serian were hugely supportive of this idea when we floated it to them and have offered their facilities (Serian Main Camp) and expertise to us at extremely discounted rates. Smita (my sister & partner at Chalo Africa, who was a science teacher & school head before we started CA) identified the core curriculum areas of the program and the Serian guide trainers then designed the safari along the lines of a simplified version of the FGASA. It's a lot of serious conservation education disguised as a lot of fun.

 

 

Thank you @@Tom Kellie for your many insights into Asia and for introducing us to your ex-student Wenhui Qiu, a graduate of the prestigious Peking University, who also holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Education from the University of Oregon at Eugene (how serendipitous was that?). Wenhui is now on board helping Chalo Africa with this program & this will be his baby to launch in the Chinese speaking world in the months to come. Wenhui speaks fluent English and is passionate about both conservation & education - he will accompany each of the Asian school groups and be the perfect intermediary between the English speaking guides and the Mandarin-Chinese speaking children. He tells me that he has also joined ST. Nihao to Safaritalk @@Vanfei - & we look forward to reading your updates on this and other wildlife/wilderness news from China.

 

If there are any teachers out there (@@Nature Traveler - calling you) or Scout leaders or Youth League people or others in charge of youth organizations or groups who are reading this & who would like their groups to participate in this program, please PM me and I'll send you all the info you require. As a SafariTalker, you already know that your children could not be in more capable hands than Serian's.

 

For your reading pleasure, here is a brochure version of the program in English & Simplified Mandarin Chinese.

 

@@Tom Kellie - could you please clone Wenhui into Vietnamese for me? :P

 

And as always, thank you so much Hari (@madaboutcheetah), for the use of your fabulous cheetah photo (our cover photo for 2015).

 

Sangeeta

 

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What a wonderful initiative. Well done to all concerned.

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Congratulations @@Sangeeta. I will help spread the word among young naturalists and their families here in the USA.

 

Unfortunately the brochure images are too small for me to read.

 

Question: will the camps be held during the (northern hemisphere) summer when children are on extended vacation from school?

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Fantastic news @@Sangeeta - and welcome to Safaritalk @@Vanfei ! I already knew about this program Chalo Africa was beginning but hadn't heard about Wenhui Qiu's involvement which I think sounds great. I already started spreading the word a few months ago and will continue to do so.

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@@Sangeeta can you convert the brochure into a PDF document and attach to this thread? It might prove more useful.

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Thanks, guys. Yes, I will post the downloadable pdfs of both brochures here so that people can read them. I wanted to make it easy for people to see without having to download and print stuff, but at this size, obviously that isn't happening! Let me try a larger size image and see if that helps. But I will post the pdf links too.

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Is this legible to everyone?

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Yes @@Sangeeta those are legible to me - thanks!

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Sorry for the jumbo images, Matt! I just want to make this as easy as possible for people to see.

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@@Sangeeta...what a fabulous idea and a lot of work to put together. These kids will be the messengers of Africa for tomorrow.

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@@Sangeeta congratulations on launching this meaningful program and its commendable aims.

 

I can see that the collaboration between CA and Serian with Vanfei's support has a real chance of changing deeply held cultural beliefs that threaten certain species. Great that you are seeking to include other teachers and youth leaders who will also carry the message.

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I hope there is a lot of interest from the future generation from China to go on this trip, Sangeeta ..... They after all, can make a difference in stopping all the slaughter of Elephants and Rhino and Tigers ........ And just about every other moving creature that they crave for!

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Well done @@Sangeeta. Sounds like an excellent idea and it has obviously involved a lot of work and planning. It would be interesting to hear a bit more about the curriculum. I do hope that the conservation message won't take on an animal rights perspective!!

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Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm feeling excited about the program : ) @@Sangeeta @@SafariChick

 

~ @@Vanfei

 

Welcome to Safaritalk!

The immense English to 中文 translation task is IMPRESSIVE!

Congratulations to you and Chalo Africa!

Tom K.

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This program has been a long time in the making but I am so proud of what we've ultimately created here in collaboration with Alex Walker's Serian Camps. As you can see from the brochure below, these educational safaris are intended to provide a deeply immersive safari experience to middle and high school kids. In addition to young people from the rest of the world, we're also working hard to attract 12-18 year old youngsters from Asia

 

Thank you @@Tom Kellie for your many insights into Asia and for introducing us to your ex-student Wenhui Qiu, a graduate of the prestigious Peking University, who also holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Education from the University of Oregon at Eugene (how serendipitous was that?). Wenhui is now on board helping Chalo Africa with this program & this will be his baby to launch in the Chinese speaking world in the months to come. Wenhui speaks fluent English and is passionate about both conservation & education - he will accompany each of the Asian school groups and be the perfect intermediary between the English speaking guides and the Mandarin-Chinese speaking children. He tells me that he has also joined ST. Nihao to Safaritalk @@Vanfei - & we look forward to reading your updates on this and other wildlife/wilderness news from China.

@@Tom Kellie - could you please clone Wenhui into Vietnamese for me? :P

 

~ @@Sangeeta

 

WOW! What a well thought out program!

Very, very IMPRESSIVE!

May this initiative by Chalo Africa bear abundant fruit in the months and years to come.

One deeply admires such a constructive initiative to do something about raising consciousness about wildlife conservation among Asian youth.

You're a doer, Sangeeta! Thank you for combining your practical business sense with your passion for conservation.

Would that I might find even one other such committed person as @@Vanfei!

Tom K.

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This is one of the best and most positive initiatives that I've seen recently. We hear all sorts of people complaining about armchair conservatives, or people donating to do-gooder NGOs where not much is gained. So much talk from so many people who mean well but here is a company that has put together a program which could really help increase understanding amongst the youth of today.

 

Bravo @@Sangeeta and Chalo Africa.

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What a wonderful idea! I hope this opportunity is taken advantage of far and wide!

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Posted (edited)

@@offshorebirder - you had asked about the timing of this safari - at these steeply discounted rates, it will be hard for Serian to do this in peak-peak season. However, they have been extremely generous with the offer period and as of now, these are the dates they can offer:

 

6 - 31 Jan, 1 Mar - 31 Jul, 1 Oct - 15 Dec

 

For US and Europe based kids, late June and all of July would work well. These dates also accommodate their Easter/Spring break holidays, but we're hoping that in May & Oct we can get kids from India (Diwali/Puja holidays). Wenhui tells me that in China, winter vacations will be Jan 31 to Feb 26 in 2016, so that is a bit of a problem and we'll have to see how to do this.

 

Thank you all for your encouragement - every kind word helps.

 

Another bit of info I should have mentioned in the first post - for each group of 6 kids, 1 adult (teacher/chaperone/interpreter) will be accommodated FOC except for park fees and internal air. So no reason for anyone to wait - Gather the neighborhood kids and descend on the Mara :P

Edited by Sangeeta
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What is the price? I am willing to be a chaperone!!

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I know Alex Walker Safaris well...they are really very good. 

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