We have always been taught to respect our Mother Nature and live-in harmony with all-natural resources. However, increasing practices on exploitation of nature has led to the destruction of natural resources around the world. Therefore, there is need to bring a change in the knowledge, attitude and action to recognize the significance of environment upon which depends the survival of human race and ecology from grass root level to national level with a commitment made towards sustainable earth. This should start with young people; the future decision makers, who are most vulnerable to the impacts on Nature destruction in the coming near future. They should be equipped with tools and skills to make knowledgeable decisions about Nature and the resources it provides. Engaging young people in exploring what the world has for them and how they can start acting now, is a practical alternative to inspire them to become responsible citizens.
IF NOT YOU, WHO ELSE…?
IT’S ALL ABOUT LEARNING, WORKING AND ACHIEVING TOGETHER
Nature Rwanda, we take conservation education not only as a way of diffusing ideas and conservation messages but also as a means to bring responsive action among individuals, groups and society as a whole. We put emphasis on both formal and informal environmental education. We create change agents in students and teachers through our Eco-Club program. We create and train environmental teacher forums and call them Eco-mentors. Together with Eco-mentors; we help students to explore environmental & conservation concepts and actions beyond the confines of the school curricula. We help students to reach out to influence, engage their parents and neighborhood communities to promote positive environmental/conservation attitudes and behaviors. Our informal education program focusses on creating awareness among the general public both in rural and urban areas through mobilization of community-based institutions and networks.
OUR STRATEGIC APPROACH…
Nature Rwanda supports schools with teacher’s training, teaching materials and necessary infrastructure, engaging students in hands-on involvement with various conservation activities, along with education tours and camps. On the other side:
Capacity building and knowledge transfer
Capacity building by training teachers and students. This creates awareness and sensitivity among youth towards environmental issues and their connected problems. Impart knowledge to help individuals and social groups gain a variety of experiences in and acquire a basic understanding of the environment and its associated problems.
We use study visits to put young people into direct contact with nature, and enable them to understand interaction and interdependence among the various components in Nature, identification of ecosystems’ threats, and sharing possible ways of acting and mitigating consequences of anthropogenic activities.
Together with Eco-Club members, we coordinate community action projects such as stream clean-ups, tree planting, litter prevention initiatives. This is what we do in order to leading by example. This has a bigger impact because it not only encourages environmental awareness, but also teach them how to live out environmentally conscious behavior.
Organizing environmental/conservation contests for young people is one of our strategies to provide them with a room to share their ideas and views on environment and biodiversity conservation. Depending on the theme, young people can share a conservation or sustainability projects, create videos, posters, art work, or write article/report/poem about environment and biodiversity conservation.