Educating future generations about the conservation of our wildlife is cornerstone to our projects in Victoria Falls, run in partnership with Lion Encounter and African Impact. With this goal in mind, our team organised a field trip to Lion Encounter for the children of Chinotimba Preschool.
“It’s important for children at school to see the animals they are learning about in the classroom, otherwise the only understanding they will have of animals are ones they have encountered in their daily lives such as cows, donkeys, and chickens,” explained Lion Encounter Guide Jairos. “We must show them the wildlife we are asking them to protect later on in their lives.” Demonstrating the diversity of the animal kingdom helps the children broaden their understanding of the environment and view it as something worth conserving; this is the ultimate goal of any conservation class.
The adventure begun as the 30 young preschoolers followed the team into the Lion Encounter reception for a safety briefing given by the Community Coordinator, Norman Moyo, and accompanying Lion Encounter guides. The discussion heightened the children’s excitement and enhanced their understanding of the predator that they were about to encounter; it also helped them to comprehend the fact that animals such as these need to be treated with caution and the utmost respect.
Then, off they went in smaller groups to see the two cubs, Pendo and Phezulu. Even though they are the smallest cubs on the site, Pendo and Phezulu were still larger than most of the preschoolers. The children looked on in awe at the playful duo. The cubs remained in the safety of their enclosures while the children listened intently to Norman; he provided an in depth insight into what lions eat, where they usually live, and their typical habitat.
Once the day came to an end, the children had a treat for the teams at African Impact and Lion Encounter. They assembled, in an adorable fashion that only preschoolers could, and recited a poem on their beloved Zimbabwe.
On returning back to school, we were greeted by Principal Mrs. Nyathi who said, “We are so thankful to you guys for what you have done for the children today.”
Our goal had been achieved and we inspired 30 lives in the process. Join our team, volunteer or intern with us at ALERT. Click here for more information.