Keeping Them Keen

Author Pru Allison
Date February 20, 2019

We always love hearing news from the conservation initiatives that we work with, and when we received an update from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation recently, it warmed our hearts.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (or GCF as they’re affectionately known), might be the only charity that’s focused solely on the management and conservation of giraffes throughout Africa, but that’s by no means the end of their reach. The Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) is implemented by the GCF team, and last year more than 2,500 grade 3 and 4 pupils from 26 primary schools in the Khomas region of Namibia. It’s certainly an initiative that we’re enormously proud to be assisting in funding.

The programme takes place in Daan Viljoen Game Reserve 20 kilometers outside the Namibian capital of Windhoek. During their day in the bush, the youngsters are able to track wildlife, identify plants and animals, and learn all about the environmental challenges that can impact conservation in Namibia. The idea is that the students will be an integral part of building a culture of environmental awareness, social responsibility, and action, creating a more sustainable future.

The children go home with a specially developed workbook that focuses on a range of environmental topics and dovetails with the Namibian primary school curriculum, making it a handy resource for both the learners and their teachers. The kids also get given healthy snacks to help keep their strength up.

A team of three young and enthusiastic Nature Conservation graduates from the Namibia University of Science and Technology are employed by GCF to implement KEEP, and they provide positive role models for the children. In some cases, they’ve even influenced the career choices of the pupils who participate in KEEP.

“Our team just loves the opportunity to share our passion for giraffe and nature with young learners every day,” beams Naemi Antonius, KEEP leader at GCF. “Not many of our fellow graduates enjoy their jobs as much as we do! It is also exhausting at times – especially on hot summer days, but still – we love what we are doing.”

Images by Giraffe Conservation Foundation

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