The program aims to develop a group of future female wilderness guides (to date, in 60 years, the Wilderness Leadership School has only had one female guide.) But this program is so much more than just that, it’s about linking individuals to strong role models and mentors who can over time embark on this journey with this group of young rural women and help them reach their full potential, provide them with support, experiences and advice.
The positive links between empowerment of women and conservation as well as socio-economic benefits are well documented. This pilot project will become the foundation for the future roll out and ongoing growth of this network of women across the world, working towards a better future for women in rural areas and a better future for conservation of our wilderness areas. For some this may mean a career as a wilderness guide, influencing the future leaders and decision makers through a wilderness experience. For others, it may mean starting a small NGO in their home community or a micro finance project for other women or running a local environmental education program in their community.
However, it pans out, having a strong support network of exceptional women to help them along this journey makes our chances of success that much higher.
Our vision is for the work of this initial pioneering group of women to be the catalyst for an annual roll out of this model. Potentially creating a global network of exceptional women helping each other, supporting each other and creating a powerful lever for positive change, socially, economically and environmentally.