Posted on
27 May 2016
In most households in Zambia, chores are more often than not left to the girl child. This results in the girl child being absent in school to be able to meet those needs at home, which affects their chances at having a future as bright as their male counterparts.
Educating the girl child is one of the ways through which we can ensure that climate change and environmental degradation isn't a possibility, by making sure girls can access information on how to adapt to a changing climate and contribute to the resilience of their families and communities.
However, the majority of the population, especially young people, are uninformed about the issues of conservation. That is exactly what the World Wide Fund for Nature in Zambia (WWF Zambia) through its youth engagement and advocacy activities is trying to address.  
Starting from the 13th up until 16th of December, 2016 WWF Zambia hosted a group of high school girls from Namwala, Sinazongwe, and Monze districts of Southern province as part of a week-long mentorship and career guidance programme.
The programme is part of an initiative led by UNICEF Zambia and Restless Development dedicated to strengthening communities, particularly in rural parts of the Country, through career and entrepreneurship development targeted at young Women.
The girls, who are in grades 10 and 11, were stationed at WWF Zambia’s head office in Lusaka. They underwent tailored one-on-one career mentorship discussions with WWF staff and partners aimed at inspiring career choices, improving self-confidence, leadership and communication skills. Perhaps the greatest motivation for this programme comes from a reminder about the journey that women have made, and about the journey that still lies ahead. It is important to inspire and motivate girls at an early stage of their lives, in all possible ways. Role models are crucial. However, the most important thing for young people is to have the support and encouragement to achieve the things that no one else like them has done before.
The girls also got a chance to participate in a half a day mentoring session with some Lusaka based Young Conservation Trailblazers Initiative (YCT) members who are in the early stages of their careers. All of the mentors agreed that there should be no limitations on what is possible or what girls can achieve; and the more we encourage this, the better leaders, scientists, doctors, teachers, and conservationists we will cultivate for Zambia and the world.
This, and many other youth programmes form part of WWF Zambia’s mandate to establish a strong foundation with young people who are poised to be the future leaders in different key disciplines, including conservation. They contribute to the organisation’s goal to inspire young people become leaders in conservation development particularly through the recently launched Young Conservation Trailblazers initiative (YCT). YCT is currently nurturing over 1,250 young conservation leaders from across Zambia, and as the initiative grows, WWF Zambia plans to expand such activities to youths in all parts of the Country so as to secure the youth’s commitment to preserving and protecting the Country’s resources for generations to come. As WWF Zambia we believe and live by our mantra, ‘Together Possible…’