Late in November Charles Khumalo organised a PACE Quiz competition for children from schools in the Mola area, Kariba, in northern Zimbabwe. Charles is a head game scout, a local man, and passionate about helping his communities to develop, while living peacefully alongside the wildlife around them. He was introduced to PACE in 2017 and quickly appreciated the potential of it’s problem-solving approach. He has started running interschool quizzes to encourage children and their teachers to learn about and find solutions to the environmental challenges they are facing.

Five primary schools participated in his first round quiz: Mola, Mangwara, Ume crocodile farm, Kalundu and Chalala. Grades 5-7 (11-13 year olds) were involved, teams of three students from each school. They covered three topics, selected as the most relevant to communities in the area – Living with Wildlife, Soils and Forests, winning points for each correct answer. They all enjoyed themselves, with eager competition between teams.

Mola were the winners, and their prize, was for the children and three accompanying teachers, to visit the local safari camp. They were hosted for a day and a night.

They went on wildlife drives and guided walks, had picnics and even visited an ancestral cave.  They saw impala, waterbuck, hippopotamus, crocodiles and lots of bird species.  A most valuable aspect of the visit was giving the children and teachers an opportunity to gain a new understanding of some of the locally feared wildlife, to realise that they can appreciate and respect their wildlife heritage in a less fearful and confrontational manner than they are normally used to. They all enjoyed themselves immensely, including learning from the guides about the importance of the natural forest and need to protect it. It is wonderful to see people coming to appreciate and enjoy their natural heritage, and excited about the process. There is no doubt that the next round of quizzes will be even more competitive.   Thanks to Charles, and Palloma, for creative and impactful use of PACE materials.