Nova Complex Market, NM 11 ST, Musanze, Rwanda

Eco-Mentors Pledged to engage their students in the protection of the environment

 

Through the Outreach Program, Nature Rwanda builds the capacity of local communities and equips them with skills to identify and be aware of local impacts of environmental degradation. We believe that everyone has the right to be informed on the status of the environment they are living in, and acquire the knowledge needed to tackle local environmental issues. In our program, we focus on youth and their teachers, the future leaders and decision-makers.

On February 14-15, 2020; with the financial support from Rufford Foundation and The Pan-African conservation Education Project, Nature Rwanda organized a two days training session for 12 school teachers (Eco-mentors) from 4 schools, namely Gicaca, Kigusa and Rulindo primary schools, located in Bugesera district and Rwahi TVET school located in Rulindo district. This workshop intended to build the capacity of teachers and increase the quantity and quality of environmental education with special emphasis on the wetlands ecosystem of Akanyaru and Nyabarongo. The training did not only informed about issues related to wetlands conservation but also investigated alternative coaching methods such as Activity-based lessons and cooperative learning in the area of environmental education.

Akanyaru and Nyabarongo Wetlands are among Important Birds and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in Rwanda and they remain unprotected ecosystems. The biodiversity that thrives from these habitats is seriously threatened by human activities. The wetlands are home to some of the bird species listed on the IUCN Red List, including the endangered Grey-crowned Crane and Madagascar Pond Heron.

The theme of the training was “Teach, Learn, Engage”. Eco-mentors were introduced on the status of environmental conservation in Rwanda, at the same time giving them enough time to participate and share ideas on the topic and how they see environmental issues in Rwanda. Using the Pan African Conservation Education Project (PACE) education materials; participants had an opportunity to learn from success stories around Africa, where students and teachers are cooperating to conserve local environment while bringing in action different conservation innovation projects. Participants watched a touching and inspiring story of the students from Tanzania who had been able to manage an existing conflict between Baboons and community members.

The participants were also given an opportunity to conduct the “Environmental Audit” exercise which helped them to assess and share the environmental status in their respective schools.

Takeaways and way forward

At the end of the training, participants decided to engage their students in eco-friendly activities through the establishment of functioning Eco clubs and each school committed to developing an environmental plan for 2020.

Participants expressed their concerns over the local and global environmental issues including climate change impacts that they have experienced already, where they recall recent unusual extreme weather conditions that devastated our country through excessive floods and droughts that have never happened before. “We now stand for the environment, together with our young boys and girls we have to fight for a brighter future “, said all participants.

A word from Eco-Mentors


NKUNDABANYANGA ETIENNE

If nothing is done for the environment, the world is likely to become inhabitable by 2100

HEAD-TEACHER AT KIGUSA PRIMARY SCHOOL

NTAWUHIGANAYO PHENIAS

Students inclusiveness in environmental conservation activities is one of the best way to sustainably mitigate climate change impacts

HEAD-TEACHER AT G.S RULIND

MWEREKANDE JEAN CLAUDE

We lose valuable products considering them to be wastes and harm our environment

TEACHER AT GICACA PRIMARY SCHOOL

BIHANGAMANYWA JEAN BAPTISTE

It’s amazing how easily you can build the website of your dream. Just move the blocks and you’re done! No coding and design skills are needed. It’s really a miracle!

TEACHER AT RULINDO PRIMARY SCHOOL