“The purpose of Pride trails is to introduce the youth to the natural heritage that is right on their own doorsteps,” says Wilderness Foundation experiential education manager, Lihle Mbokazi. “We teach the students about the beauty and healing power of wild areas. They also learn practical uses for medicinal plants, and are taught how to protect their environment from things like soil erosion. The importance of water and its scarcity is also explained.”
Pride trails are led by guides trained by the Wilderness Foundation, together with an ‘elder’, who helps students reconnect with the cultural heritage of natural wilderness areas.
On this occasion, the students were part of the Umzi Wethu Livelihoods programme, a job-readiness course which helps equip unemployed youth with valuable life skills and work skills. The Pride trail is part of the life skills training section of the Livelihoods programme and seeks to build self-confidence, and an environmental world view amongst the students on the programme.