Women FOR Conservation Botswana's first group retreat at Drifters Camp Maun saw 12 diverse women with backgrounds in conservation, tourism, research and education come together to create a supportive network and to contribute to the participation of women in the male dominant industry of conservation.
Women FOR Conservation Botswana (WFCB) is a new initiative currently under the care of Kalahari Research & Conservation. This leadership workshop was designed to encourage and inspire indigenous women across Botswana to lead the way towards a more sustainable future for local communities and wildlife conservation. Running for 3 days, this workshop created a networking platform for ladies to share their experiences, highlight obstacles they face in their respective efforts and the importance of representation and support needed to achieve their conservation targets and overcome barriers around being a woman in the field of conservation in Botswana.
The first day saw an agenda that focused on building strategies that will help define the organizations structure and illuminating the mission. All which would assist with achieving the initiatives goals & priority areas which would expand women’s leadership in wildlife conservation across Botswana. The second day was a bit more personal as it zoomed in on the individual ladies with a focus on personal development and self-reflection. In order to achieve the different goals and to create a lady friendly conservation environment and support system the ladies needed to bond by a sharing an authentic connection that was enticed through several self-realization activities. The final day was a summary of the entire workshop, with the ladies highlighting common themes they felt were important to drive WFCB’s mandate forward. This session ended with a networking lunch where prominent ladies that lead conservation organizations empowered, encouraged and forged a relationships with the ladies.
Allies from all over the country and region were created. With the Women for Environment sending personal videos to empower and welcome WFCB to the fight for wider woman representation in conservation. As the first sign of support to the ladies in conservation WFCB also shared videos of empowerment with Girls in Conservation Science camp.
Target themes identified
· Conservation from the roots
· Tree planting activities
· Tourism conservation training
· Careers in conservation
· Community engagements
· Field retreats
· Senior school & Tertiary student talks and engagement forums
Through this safe space and relaxed environment, WFCB managed to define its vision, mission, highlight challenges women face in conservation and suggest solutions.
Coordinator: Kgomotso Mothibi
Assistant Coordinator: Tshepiso Vivian Diphupu
Accounts: Bokamoso Tshekiso
Admin & Communications: Albertinah Tiroyaone
Online Media & PR: Ndulamo Malumbela
Fundraising: Keitumetse Mosweu
Records: Tsaone Goikantswemang
**All COVID-19 precautions & protocols were observed. This including:
Required negative COVID test prior to workshop.
All sessions were in an open-air venue.
Limited number of participants (*less than 15).
Hand sanitation and social distance were essential.