CCB’s education team spent the 11th and 12th of March conducting art lessons focused on wildlife in Bere – a small village in a large wildlife corridor in the Ghanzi district. This wildlife corridor links the Kalahari Transfrontier Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and it is important for the community of the village to be inspired and appreciate the wildlife they share land with. The purpose of the art project was to teach students basic art techniques as well as help them see and learn about wildlife, so that they can build love and respect for wildlife in a unique and fun way. Karrie Hovey, a professional artist and volunteer with CCB shared with the students a brief history of art in the region — most of which has been produced by the San through the Kuru Art Project in D’kar. The best drawings by students were re-drawn using a computer program to produce murals that were painted on the walls of the classrooms to remind the students every day of the beauty and importance of wildlife. In a celebration of the San tradition of tracking, the walkways of the school were covered with animal tracks painted in the colours of the Botswana flag to encourage pride in their natural heritage. The school community was thrilled when they saw the murals for the first time on their school walls and the animal tracks along the walkways. The school community is grateful to CCB for this activity and is excited about what CCB will do in their community in the future. We appreciate the support of the Bere community for letting us work with them on this project, especially Bere Primary School and the Village Development Committee for allowing us to camp in their grounds and use their facilities. We hope the artwork at the school will inspire everyone in the community to continue to care for wildlife in their area.
Last week CCB carried out another fabulous school presentation on cheetah conservation for the Standard 7 classes at Thornhill Primary School in Gaborone. Thornhill is a very important partner to CCB and every year their Standard 7 classes hosts different fundraising activities with the proceeds going to CCB. These funds go a long way in extending our services to the communities of Botswana, especially with our education outreach activities. The students were amazed by the lesson and learnt more about cheetahs and wildlife conservation in general. We can only hope that the students realise the situation that cheetahs and other wildlife are facing and that they get motivated to continue supporting cheetah conservation efforts. Thank you Thornhill Primary School once again for your support.
CCB’s education team spent the afternoon of the 6th March in Tlokweng facilitating a presentation for the Standard 5, 6, and 7 students of Kgosikgosi Primary School. CCB’s friend and alumni, Mr. Kenny Mokokonyane delivered a smooth talk to the eager students and provided them with a fun-filled presentation and hampers of educational materials. Students were enthusiastic about learning about local carnivores, the importance of them in the ecosystem and how the students can help promote coexistence between people and carnivores. We appreciate the support of Kgosikgosi Primary School and Mr. Kenny Mokokonyane for working with us to impart this knowledge to these future conservationists.
World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the myriad benefits that wildlife provides people. Humanity is faced with a lot of challenges and the survival of many species is at risk. Climate change is real and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. Let this World Wildlife Day be a reminder that our societies and wildlife depend on natural resources. If they continue to be depleted, what will become of our environment? It is upon us to make this world a better place for ourselves and our children. Go out and enjoy and appreciate nature — snap pictures in the wild, splash fresh water on your face, pick up that plastic bag, advocate for healthier environments, involve youth and colleagues in these dialogues — be the change you want to see in the world. And not just on World Wildlife Day, but every day!
Photo credit: Suzi Lonergan