“No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”
The above is a quote by Sir David Attenborough, a world-renowned naturalist who has through his chosen medium (mostly television) revealed the beauty, complexity and plight of the natural world – and in the process educated a legion of people that now care more deeply about the future of wild places, and who are more likely to act as custodians.
Social media is one platform to educate and engage with the public. Another is through immersive wildlife experiences such as the ones undertaken by the Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) programme which we support https://giraffeconservation.org/programmes/keep/. KEEP is the largest environmental education programme in Namibia and is integrated with the national school curriculum. KEEP provides a platform outside the classroom (in nature) designed to emphasize the value of conservation and wild places with the goal of inspiring experiential learning and modelling environmental and wildlife stewardship, and in the process hopefully shaping the mindset of the next generation of decision-makers.
Within a year the KEEP team take over 2,500 Namibian primary school students into the field for a fun, educational and interactive conservation experience. Unfortunately, this year these activities were curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown. However up until March of this year, KEEP had already hosted 448 students and 25 teachers and were set for a very busy year ahead.
Despite the Covid-19 challenges, the KEEP team have not ceased with their environmental education, creating online content for their website https://giraffeconservation.org/2020/06/05/keep-videos/. The knowledge that one’s work has the potential to create future champions of conservation in Namibia, is more than enough reason to keep on keeping on!
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