Lions are a focal project at Antelope Park, especially the importance of their existence not only for ecological purposes, but also for future generations to witness and experience the regal beauty of these majestic creatures. However, for their existence to be ensured to continue, education has to play a major role- particularly conservation education. The Alert Education Centre (AEC) was founded on the 6th of December 2012 by the then Minister of Education, Mr Coltart. The purpose of the Centre is to teach children the importance of every living thing on this planet and the part each creature plays in maintaining the natural balance of the earth. The AEC has already welcomed and graduated over 650 children, and we are looking forward to graduating many more in the future. Joining us in our mission to teach people about conservation is Tinashe Gonye. Tinashe is an attachment student from Midland State University (MSU), based in Gweru. Tinashe has come to us as part of ALERT’s partnership with MSU. This partnership is an agreement between ALERT, MSU and Coventry University (UK) to work together to design and deliver an effective and culturally appropriate conservation education curriculum to local Zimbabwean communities. We are particularly keen to reach those who live in ‘hotspot’ wildlife conflict areas. Fostering positive attitudes and behaviours towards Zimbabwe’s stunning natural wildlife and habitat, including dangerous predators, is imperative to conservation of the environment and its non-human residents. Tinashe has a drive to educate children about their natural world and has joined us at the AEC on his road to doing so. Welcome to the team Tinashe!
Staben Porovha, Zimbabwe, ALERT Education Centre Teacher:
“2015 commences on a high note for ALERT’s Education Centre. Tinashe Gonye, a student at Midlands State University studying Animal and Wildlife Sciences joins us and will be taking care of the teaching needs at Matongo and Senga Primary Schools. This achievement does not only increase the AEC’s capacity, but also creates our presence in other suburbs apart from Mkoba. Tinashe commenced a 6–8 week training on Monday 2 February. After the graduation of the classes he is assisting in teaching, he will then be sent to the two primary schools in Senga on behalf of the AEC. He will be with us for one year. Classes for 2015 at the AEC commence on Monday 9 February with at least 100 students from Mkoba 4 Primary School and Takunda Primary School.”