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Environmental education

After many years of working with the farming communities it became evident that environmental education was vital to the long-term conservation of large carnivores. The main aim of the programme will be to develop and improve environmental education for the benefit of the Namibian people in an attempt to increase awareness and understanding of the complexities of environmental issues, promote greater tolerance of large carnivores outside of protected areas and to find practical solutions to the human-wildlife conflict situation. The programme will endeavour to develop the knowledge and skills of learners and communities, enabling them to participate in the conservation and sustainable management of wildlife populations in Namibia.

cheetah being examined educating guides

The AfriCat Environmental Education Centre on Okonjima was built in 1998 and partially funded by a donation from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The centre is ideally placed to service schools in the central region. Schools and learners are invited to participate in a 3-day/2-night environmental education programme. The programme is adapted to the ages of the different groups and includes activities that are focused on predator conservation and general environmental awareness.

 

The AfriCat North Environmental Education Centre is ideally situated for schools and communities in the northern and north-western parts of Namibia. Thanks to a generous donation by the Swedish Local Environment Fund (SIDA) in collaboration with the Namibian Nature Foundation (NNF), the construction of the first classroom at the Environmental Education Centre was completed by September 2001. The building of ablution facilities has since been completed and classroom equipment was privately sponsored. The construction of thatched shade areas, designed to encourage outdoor teaching, was completed in September 2002. The Centre offers youth groups and farming communities of the Kunene, as well as other regions, the opportunity to participate in extensiveenvironmental education programmes, ultimately encouraging attitude change and establishing a deep-seated awareness of environmental issues, specifically those involving large carnivores.

 

The Environmental Education Programme includes study of the ecosystem and animal behaviour, as well as farm management and improved livestock-protection methods. Youth of all ages are encouraged to become involved in an Environmental Education Outreach Programme, where active participation enables them to learn more about large carnivores, their role within the natural ecosystem and the problems facing these animals due to loss of ideal habitat, disease, drought and persecution. Since its inception the AfriCat Environmental Education Programme has reached over 20 000 children and young adults at the Education Centres and through the Outreach Programme.

N$250 | US$23 | £17 weekend stay for 1 school kid at our Environmental Education Programme.  (See: AfriCat's Environmental Education Weekend Programme)
I would like to donate towards the Environmental Education Programme.
Donate online here
For more information see our support page.
It costs approximately (N$5,000, US$454, £300, €430) for a group of 20 children to visit one of our Education Centres.
This funding goes towards covering the cost of education material, transport, and food.

 

The AfriCat Environmental Education Programme: 2013

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Our Mission Statement: "CONSERVATION through EDUCATION"

Our Vision: "To reach as many children, teenagers and adults as possible from all walks of life regarding CONSERVATION of our ENVIRONMENT on a personal, local, national and global level."

Our Goals: "To provide fun, meaningful but realistic environmental education to learners of all ages explaining the true concept of environmental conservation as the preservation of our environment by understanding the many problems we must all address and by practicing suggested solutions."

We aim to do this by:

- assisting in setting up more EC ( Environmental Conservation) Clubs in communities and schools and providing ongoing support and assistance to the club leaders.

- our Outreach Programme where we will take environmental education to rural groups and schools that are unable to come to us.

- identifying individuals within each group that show potential/extra interest and offer them follow up camps so as to keep "the fire burning"!

- offering practical/refresher courses to teachers, both student and current, as well as to any other interested adults from both the urban and rural areas.

- to collaborate with other similar organizations and relevant Government Ministries so as to ensure a network of extra-curricular environmental education within Namibia

As already mentioned in our AfriCat newsletters our programmes are well under way at all three levels i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

 

 africat environmental education logo

 

The two afternoon "EE”" sessions at POCS (Perivoli Okonjima Country School) are ongoing and during the first term focused on the three Rs . . . REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE!
Ms Roeline Hansen who is our EE teacher at POCS produced a small play which was put on in our staff village as well as organizing a competition to encourage the scholars to make something fun or useful from recycled materials . . . . the result: Meet Mr Robo van Yota! . . . who won hands down!!

 

tusk trust logoOur secondary section (which currently forms the bulk of our programme) is well under way now that we have a "new" site with more facilities and a full time Environmental Educator, Mrs. Helen Newmarch.
An enormous "Thank you" must go to TUSK for the provision of our educator’s salary. . . . and this comes from the many children as well that have and will benefit from our courses : "Thank you Thank you TUSK"

 

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Our tertiary or adult section is still a case of "charity begins at home" because the preparation, planning and logistics of the external adult programme are taking longer than expected to finalize.
However the Guides Training is progressing well and so are the weekly English and Computer courses for our staff. Many thanks to two of our POCS teachers, Ms Grobler and Ms Martin who are helping out with the latter.
We are busy encouraging the use of solar energy amongst our staff and we have started our tree planting and "village green" programme. This we did on World Earth Day to join in on the world wide campaign to increase awareness of the enormous problems that our amazing "Mother Earth" is facing.

 

Further Reading:

2014:
AfriCat Foundation Envirinmental Education Programme 2014

 

2013:
AfriCat's 2013 Environmental Education Programme. Half yearly report.
AfriCat's 2013 Environmental Education Programme. 2013 marked the rejuvenation of the AfriCat Environmental Education programme.
The Perivoli Okonjima Country School newsletter July 2013.

 

2012:
Introducing Ms Helen Newmarch heading our conservation through education programmes.
The Perivoli Okonjima Country School newsletter Dec 2012.
The Tusk Trust and Daily Telegraph join in. Report on Spes Bona primary school's visit to the Okonjima Nature Reserve and AfriCat's Environmental Education Programme.

 

 

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