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Junior Ranger Programme

The Junior Ranger Programme began in 2018 and is designed and instructed by the Malilangwe scouts and funded by donors. The scouts act as mentors to the junior rangers and pass on a diverse range of skills and wisdom to the young recruits. The curriculum for the programme is approved by The Ministry of Education and is held over a period of nine weeks, during school holidays, throughout the course of a year.


The junior rangers are selected from surrounding community schools and are boys aged 16 to 19 years old.


The junior rangers are accommodated in purpose-built dormitories. Duties shared amongst them include cleaning, washing, and cooking meals. Standards for levels of cleanliness and neatness are explained and demonstrated by the scouts. High standards and teamwork are the order of the day.

The syllabus for the Junior Ranger Programme is varied and all-encompassing:

  • Leadership and personal development take the form of team-building exercises. This encourages the cadets to collaborate on devising strategies and solving problems. The junior rangers also engage in public speaking and address a variety of subjects to encourage confidence and quick thinking. Study time in the evening allows for revision and the junior rangers are required to keep a diary.
  • Nutrition knowledge is gained via instruction in food handling and hygiene, as well as the preparation of delicious meals. By the end of the first module, the junior rangers are responsible for all their own catering.
  • Health and exercise are fundamentals in this programme. Every morning starts with physical exercises, followed by a run on the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. The day’s workouts also include circuit training in the gym and a very competitive, team ball sport. Each exercise session is instructed and accompanied by senior scouts.
  • Conservation education is led by a consultant, Debbie Kelly, who is a professional guide and qualified teacher. Debbie conducts activities both in the classroom and out in the field, with an emphasis on practical work and group discussions.
  • Bushcraft skills and knowledge of the local flora and fauna are taught by senior scouts. Traditional uses for a variety of plants are shared and some Shangaan bushcraft practices, not typically passed down through the generations anymore, are demonstrated.
  • First Aid is taught by Sister Ruth Dabbs through practical and theoretical lessons. In their passing-out parade, the young junior rangers act out a scenario and the processes of attending to the injuries at the scene of the incident.
  • Healthy lifestyle: The clinic team gives motivational talks on the importance of healthy living and making good life choices. They also cover alcohol abuse, smoking, drugs, HIV/AIDS awareness, and sexually transmitted diseases.
We salute Senior Sergeant Phibeon Salani, who was instrumental in the framework of the Junior Ranger Programme with his valued ideas and roles as a mentor and a teacher. Phibeon was passionate and enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of the local flora and fauna with the junior rangers. He also drew attention to the traditional uses for a variety of plants and shared his Shangaan bushcraft skills. Sadly, due to being diagnosed with cancer and his subsequent passing, Phibeon was only able to instruct the first year of the programme. His wisdom for the wild will be missed, but not forgotten.

How Can You Help?


  • Donate for one boy to attend the Junior Ranger Programme, for USD 1 275 per year.
  • Donate for a pair of shoes for one cadet, for USD 50.