BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
A-17-year-old United Kingdom-born Caius Luckyn Malone has joined an 800km walk4life journey that seeks to promote local tourism, conservation and mental health.
The awareness campaign seeks to raise financial and material resources towards supporting conservation efforts in the Zambesia region.
Malone, who arrived in Zimbabwe in September last year said: “Africa is blessed with the most stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and incredibly friendly communities. You should not be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone and to try to experience new things. In the planning and preparation days alone, I have learnt so much already and hope to learn more along the way.”
The walk4life journey started at Kariba Dam-Wall on Sunday.
The funds raised will directly support both the Zambesia Conservation Alliance with conserving nature and its biodiversity in the Zambezi Valley as well as Consolidated Africa Services (PVO) to address mental health challenges across Zimbabwe, including promoting the benefits of nature for our mental well-being.
Malone said he hoped that other teenagers and young adults of Zimbabwe and Africa are willing to push themselves into new challenges, and help to protect wildlife and their natural environment worldwide.
“Young people must aim to protect their mental health by rebalancing their often over-stressed minds, through appreciating the great outdoors. So much self-development, resilience and appreciation of nature can stem from a journey like this; I would honestly urge others to try something similar,” he said.
His mother, Lisa said they were proud of their son participating in the conservation awareness campaign.
“I am incredibly proud that Caius has chosen to step up and get involved in local fund-raising so quickly. He and his sister, Madeleine, feel incredibly privileged to experience life in Zimbabwe,” Lisa said.
Kariba Tourism and Business Indaba coordinator Cephas Shonhiwa said the walk4life campaign has put Zimbabwe on the tourism map.
“This is not just good for Kariba, but the whole of Zimbabwe. Having young minds participating in events which promote tourism is what we always wanted as stakeholders in the industry,”Shonhiwa said.