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Youth Development Program by Savage Wilderness

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Savage Wilderness | Youth Development Program 

As Black Lives Matter (BLM) movements unfold across the United States, those in Africa cannot help but see the similarities in a long-overdue conversation about race and the lingering impact. Like the United States and Europe, Kenya had segregation laws in the form of apartheid, where blacks needed identification and permission to enter parts of Nairobi and other areas. Times have certainly changed, but Kenya still feels the effects of post-colonialism.

The Savage Wilderness camp in Kenya wholeheartedly supports the mindset of diversity, equality, and inclusion for all people. Savage Wilderness supports the outdoor industry's broader efforts to make outdoor recreation more accessible to people regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality.

With a long history of employing black Africans, Savage Wilderness is an example of the importance of representation and promoting this space. With 70% of Savage Wilderness clients being expatriates, they hope to raise the number of African youth enjoying the outdoors while helping them grow personally and professionally.

The Youth Development Program Overview

Over the course of several weeks, youth involved in this program will show development in the following units. 

Unit 1: Paddle Skills and Vocabulary
1) Progression through level 1-3 of the BCF (Edge control, flat and moving water roll, high
and low brace, etc.)
2) Hydrology terminology (pour-over, hole, hydraulic, CFS, etc.)
3) River terminology (left, right, eddies, stop, go, eddy-out, sieve, snag, etc.)

Unit 2: Swift Water and CPR
1) Introductory Swift Water rescue (throw bag, swimming, foot entrapments systems, etc.)
2) Intro to CPR and Drawing protocol

Unit 3: River and Environmental Stewardship
1) Discussion on watersheds in Kenya
2) Environmental concepts (recycling, LNT, suitability)
3) Riverbank clean up (part of continued community engagement)
4) Paddle that section of the river. 

Unit 4: Basic First Aid
2) Wound management (C.A.R.E)
3) Single rescuer, multiple rescuer log roll
4) CPR and Drowning protocol
5) Long bone fracture

Unit 5: Leadership Day
1) From this point on, every student will get that chance to lead for a day
2) Foundation of groups (forming, storming, norming, performing)

Unit 6: Profession Development
1) Interview practice
2) Resume work
3) Insight into the job market from a tour provider perspective

Where the Youth Development Program Stands Currently: 

The youth program has already started due to the generosity of Savage Wilderness and its employees volunteering their time, equipment, and resources.  

Since the program has begun in mid-September 2020, they have had a Youth Selection Day, which consisted of around 90 youth from the local area. They had a round-robin of team building activities. For many students, it was the first time they had to do a problem-solving task and push themselves out of their comfort zones. One of the challenges (swimming in a pool) was quite the feat, as many students cannot swim. The peers in the group capable of swimming encouraged them and helped them through the challenge. Both guides and students alike enjoyed the day thoroughly.  

Out of the 90 students, 40 were chosen to become part of the youth program (with reserves built-in.) The guides acknowledge that the selection process was difficult, but due to restrictions of space, time, and funds, the program had to be kept at 40 youth to start. 

Below are some featured images from the day: 

The Overall Goals of the Youth Development Program 

1) Improve the personal, social, and emotional needs of youth in the local community. 

2) Environmental Education | Creating awareness of how important it is to look at your environment. Youth in the program will help create a community project on keeping their local environment clean and safe. Additionally, they will look into their own households and lives and how they can control litter and reduce, reuse, and recycle items. 

3) Teamwork and Communication | The program's educational and activity side will have attendees working as a team through group projects, problem-solving skills, and group presentations. 

4) Work Experience | The program will focus on different aspects of the work environment and try to produce positive work skills from youth by working within different parts of the company, e.g., kitchen, reception, etc. 

5) Program activities create awareness of how dangerous water can be and stop the unnecessary drownings (caused by torrential flooding) while improving water skills and confidence. 

6) Life skills to improve their standing in the community and world overall. 

Youth Development Program Budget
4 Month Program | September - December 2020 | In Progress
Yearly Budget 2021 | Future

Moving Forward and How You Can Help 

The youth program is currently in full swing, thanks to the donation of time and resources from Savage Wilderness. Funds are necessary as soon as possible to keep the program afloat and moving forward. 

Your donation will go to funding the program as listed above. More importantly, your donations will go to bettering the future for young Kenyans. Donations are vital and greatly appreciated. 

Staying Up To Date 

As the Youth Development Program develops and evolves, we can keep you informed every step of the way. We suggest you follow Savage Wilderness on their social feeds (Instagram  & Facebook .) Additionally, as developments continually come in, we will keep the GoFundMe page up to date.

UPDATE 12/9 | Basic First Aid & Fundematal Kayak Skills

The current youth in the program got an introduction to First Aid (ABCD) and worked on fundamental kayaking skills. Here are a few shots from the day. 

Organizer and beneficiary

Immersion Research
White Salmon, WA
Jennifer Gurecki

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