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AfriCat Environmental Education Program 2013

ee 2013 learningee 2013 outside camp

Half Yearly Report

INTRODUCTION
The following is a report on the progress and activities that the AfriCat Environmental Education Program has been involved in since March 2013 at AfriCat HQ. The AfriCat North Environmental Education Centre is currently on hold for 2013 due to re-location. It includes all the schools that have visited the center, as well as the groups that have been booked and confirmed up to the 15th of December 2013. These include both high school and primary schools, ranging from grade one up to grade twelve. We have also hosted a number of environmental clubs as well as a group of main stream teachers coming from the northern region of our country. It also includes the plans for the future, and on how we are hoping to grow the project to reach and involve more children in our EE program.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PARTICIPANTS FOR 2013
The following is a table to represent the groups that have visited the center since March 2013, as well as the confirmed booking for the rest of 2013. Each group is accompanied by 2 teachers which hopefully have also been positively influenced.

 

DATE SCHOOL NAME REGION GRADE NUMBER OF STUDENTS
08-10 March 2013 Karibib Primary School Erongo Grades 6 and 7 18
15-17 March 2013 Karibib Primary School Erongo Grades 6 and 7 18
05-07 April 2013 Mondesa Youth Opportunities Erongo Grade 5 20
24-27 May 2013 Karundu Primary School Otjizonjupa Grades 5 and 6 20
31 May – 2 June 2013 Nature Haven Grades 5 to 7 20
14- 16 June 2013 Rugata Primary School Otjizonjupa 20
07-09 June 2013 Namib High school  Erongo Grades 11 and 12 16
11- 14 July 2013 Ubasen Primary school Erongo Grades 1 to 4 20
26-28 July 2013 Your Safari American Travelling School Adult 6
1-4 August 2013 Oshikoto Schools Oshikoto Teachers 20
16-18 August 2013 Swakop Primary School Erongo Grade 7 25
18-21 August 2013 Donkerbos Primary School Omaheke Grades 4 to 7 20
22-25 August 2013 Etakaya Primary School Omusati Grades 4 to 7 35
25-27 August 2013 !Nara Primary Environmental Club Erongo Grades 6 and 7 20
28-30 August 2013 Etambo Combined School Omusati Grades 8 to 10 40
5-8 September 2013 Namib High school Erongo Grades 10 to 12 20
12-15 September 2013 Namib High School (Germany) Erongo Grades 10 to 12 20
19-22 September 2013 Ubasen Primary School Erongo Grade 7 20
26-29 September 2013 Karibib Primary School Erongo Grade 6 20
1-4 October 2013 Safari Wise Erongo Grades 5 and 6 18
7-11 November 2013 Wilderness Safaris Grade 12 22
15-18 November 2013 Educate Academy Otjizonjupa Grade 7 21
21-24 November 2013 Uk Travelling School UK Grade 12 20
8-12 December 2013 Mamadu Children’s Home Erongo Grades 5 to 10 21
Return Camp Otjizonjupa Grades 5 to 7 20
TOTAL 500

The table below indicates the schools that have been contacted via 'AfriCat Outreach'. Most of the beginning of the year was used to contact schools and spread the word about AfriCat’s Environmental Education program and what it offers to schools. 

Schools Visited Grades Region Number of Students
Rugata Primary School Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 900
Spes Bona Primary School Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 1100
Karundu Primary school Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 1000
GK Wahl Primary school Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 450
Kalkfeld Primary School Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 320
Dunatus Primary school Grades 1 to 7 Otjizonjupa 580
Omaruru Primary School Pre-primary to grade 7 Erongo 250
Ubasen Primary school Grades 1 to 7 Erongo 600
Paheye Primary school Grades 1 to 7 Erongo 700
S.I Gobs Secondary school Grades 8 to 12 Erongo 550
W Borchard Primary School Grades 1 to 7 Erongo 500
Total 6950

ee 2013 learningee 2013 students admiring the view of the Okonjima Nature Reserve

It is important to note that the figures that are available from the Ministry of Education are normally not very accurate, and that the true figure of the number of children in each school is normally much higher with an average of 40 learners per class. It is also important to remember that not every student is seen and that most of the initial contact is with the individual teachers, representing the learners. The Namibian Government has recently introduced free schooling, which in turn caused schools that were originally built for 600 students, to cater for 1000. Rugata Primary School is a prime example. Although this is a good idea theoretically, in practical it is just not sustainable.

 

Up to date the majority of students that have visited our center are in the primary school level, grades 1 to 7. This gave us the opportunity to develop our program to fit the needs and ability of students ages 10 to 13, but not to say that we do not cater for high school students. Our current program is very flexible and we adapt to the ability of each individual group. For the older students we incorporate more physical activities, while still emphasizing the same core principles within environmental education. We also motivate both high school and primary school students to think outside the box and inspire them to make decisions that are beneficial both to the environment, as well as their future careers.

namibia map regions

OUTREACH
Our current outreach has been towards the two closest towns to the AfriCat HQ, one being Otjiwarongo and the other Omaruru. The reason for this was mostly transport, but also due to the fact that these two areas lie within a very strong commercial farming community, and thus have the most livestock/predator conflicts. These two areas alone represent about 5 000 students and we are hoping to contact and influence the majority of these learners.

We are also planning a major outreach in October to reach the northern and eastern part of Namibia. Due to the distance we will be doing presentations to the students.

ee 2013 group of studentsee 2013 game drive 

PERSONAL TRAINING

Since March this year we have attended two different Environmental Education centres for training. Both these centers specialize in two different areas of Environmental Education.

By attending these centres we were able to incorporate both these very important concepts into our own programme and thus by combining it with the human wildlife conflict in our area, AfriCat creates a unique Environmental Education experience for its participants.

ee 2013 building kraalee 2013 building kraal 

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
The main challenge that we have is transport. Not only just in the reserve for our excursions, but also to assist students who do not have access to transport to come to our centre.

ee 2013 students transportee 2013 students from  etambo 

THE FUTURE
Our plans for the future are to improve, and also grow the program, with the following.

ee 2013 education centreee 2013 students pangolin 

CONCLUSION
We had a slow start to the beginning of the year due to attending other centres and moving to and adapting the PAWS centre. There has been a major influx of inquiries and bookings for 2013. This is due to the outreach we have done as well as the Namibian Environmental Education Network (NEEN) conference we attended in May this year. Here we were able to present our program to a large number of teachers as well as other organisations that work within the same field. With our growing outreach program we are positive that we will be able to double the number of visitors to our center within the next 12 months.

We offer a unique Environmental Education experience to the Namibian Education system and therefore are able to make a positive contribution towards the long-term and sustainable development of Namibia’s youth.

ee 2013 campfireee 2013 lookout

Please see appendix 1 and 2 for student comments and "Thank You" letters.

 

APPENDIX 1
STUDENT COMMENTS

These from students attending Namib High School, Swakopmund

"What was really special and fun for me, were the walks we made through nature. All the wildlife we saw was especially interesting. We learned a lot on these walks and it is good to know more about wildlife and nature."

"The game drive Sunday morning and the sunrise. The two cheetahs we walked to. To learn more about plants and animals."

"Liked the walks, and sunrise/sunsets and the slide shows and the night walk/star gazing were great."

"Seeing the cheetahs that were not in a cage was the best experience."

"The fact that solitude is respected at Okonjima, and that helped me a lot, not always to talk much but to take a moment and listen and appreciate things."

"The view of Okonjima from a high point. The sunrise was beautiful. Standing on a mountain and just looking out over the entire lodge was beautiful. Also the star gazing is a very good idea."

"Being chosen to paint our club’s adopted spot! Having to bath in an open bathroom, and using an open toilet is by far the most memorable."

 

APPENDIX 2
Thank You Letters (PDF)

ee 2013 learningee 2013 learningee 2013 learning activityee 2013 learning activityee 2013 learning activityee 2013 learning activity

Compiled by AJ Rousseau
Contributions by: Helen Newmarch (Head of Education)

 

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