Lion Encounter Zambia is currently piloting a new program at Mukamusaba Conservation Club, which everyone involved is very excited about. An educational researcher and an educational psychologist from Coventry University in the UK have been in Livingstone to help launch an innovative program, called Conservation Education through Problem-based Learning. We are glad to report that the first session has been a huge success.
To begin with, the students were asked to complete a questionnaire to assess their current attitude towards conservation. As the livelihoods of farming communities can be threatened by predator attacks, it is understandable that tolerance towards wildlife should be affected. By encouraging a more positive attitude through Conservation Education, this program seeks to foster long-term constructive behaviours, so that local people benefit from conserving wildlife and by doing so, protect animals currently considered to be ‘pests’, such as elephants and lions.
In the first session, the students were given the task of identifying and categorising omnivores, carnivores and herbivores using animal pictures. Next week, they will be working with food webs and food chains. We will keep you up to date with their progress.
Meanwhile, a Lion Encounter intern has reluctantly said goodbye to the children she has been teaching at Twabuka Primary School in Livingstone. Lindsay Penkala’s time on the project has meant a great deal to her. Here is what she had to say about the experience:
‘My trip to Zambia has quickly come to an end! On, Thursday, June 26th I had my last day of teaching with my 6th graders at Twabuka Primary School. I knew I wanted to do something special for my kids, and give them something that they could use in school years to come, so I decided to go into town and buy each of them a tote bag to carry their books to school in and I stuffed a few snack items and a pencil in the bag too. I also asked the kitchen staff at Lion Encounter to help me pop some popcorn for the kids as well. We popped so much that the popcorn filled up an entire bucket! When I got to school that day I began by teaching my last math and English lesson. Then, when it was time for break I handed out the bags and they ate all of the popcorn. They loved everything, and I really loved seeing them so happy and thankful. The rest of the day, we played net ball, took many pictures and they even sang me a goodbye song! I know that I will miss my students at Twabuka so much when I return to America. They have stolen my heart and I will forever be thankful for Twabuka’s love and support these past few weeks! I know I will keep in touch with the teachers and students at Twabuka and I hope to visit again soon!’