Young Conservationists inspiring each other after a hard year of home schooling.
The PACE & Ninety One Next Generation of conservation heroes education and exchange holiday programme has been a huge success. It involved more than 90 people, over five weeks. There were group talks with professional conservationists, interactive virtual visits to an eco-school and Education Centre at Lewa Conservancy in Kenya, and fifty 1:1 video chats between children in different countries. We wanted to connect young conservationists, help them share ideas, and provide a platform, especially for children in Africa, to promote some of the fantastic things they are doing to make a difference. Despite connectivity issues, and quite a lot of shyness from younger kids about talking on-line, to people far away, in the presence of adults, the outcomes exceeded expectations. Over-riding feedback from children and their leaders is that it was inspiring, fun, they learned a lot, and are waiting for ‘the next episode’! Above all the kids were excited by and made new friends and ambitions in conservation. Some very insightful questions asked of professional conservationists in the group talks made it clear that our youngsters have a lot to offer. Enormous thanks to Ninety One for making this possible.
Feedback from participants –
“Thank you so much for running the Tusk conservation programme with Ninety One. I really learnt a lot and as my brother said it’s a once in a life time opportunity. I have told many people about it, including my teachers, family and friends and they were all envious. So I feel very privileged to be a part of this programme. It was very enjoyable and I loved talking to Daphne privately since I found our talk very educational and inspiring. I am very glad to have participated in such an amazing scheme.”
“It was delightful to watch the children’s growing interest, and see them bloom in confidence in their questions, and chats with their opposite numbers.”
“Thank you for offering me the opportunity to join the Next Generation Conservation programme. I took part in a one-on-one call where we talked about how my partner got involved in conservation and we discussed initiatives I could do on my side. I also joined a group talk with a ranger in Zimbabwe. I learned about how bee hives are put up in places to deter elephants because the elephants don’t like the noise they make. I also took part in a group talk about lemurs in Madagascar. I loved listening to everyone and I have learned so much.”
“Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to be involved in the project. I learnt so much, and really gained insight to the conservation problems being tackled in different areas across the world. My 1 to 1 chat was utterly inspiring, and allowed new perspective on how I can use my voice for change alongside perusing my other life ambitions. It has further entrenched my passion and hopes to peruse these topical issues further, and has inspired me to look into incorporating conservation volunteering in South Africa during my prospective gap year before I go into my further studies in the upcoming years.”
“We went on holiday the same day as the African wild dog session and I could hear my son on the flight telling his friend all about what he had learnt! He said “My favourite part was getting to talk with Blessy, she was really nice and it was very interesting getting to talk to someone who lives in Africa near such amazing wildlife”
“I’m just back from my first day back at school! I really enjoyed meeting and chatting to BK from Botswana. We are still in touch. Dad has his contact details. We will definitely meet up with him in person when we are next in Botswana, Gaborone.”
“My favourite thing was my one to one call with Mohammed. I really liked asking him about what he does at school and with his friends too. It was good to talk to him about all the things he does to look after the turtles and I wish I could help him more in doing that.”
“Nancy and I zoomed with Denis the WCU coordinator and his group. Nancy (in Kenya) is an amazing young environmentalist so I used the opportunity to let her share about her work, and as a neighbour of Uganda there was great synergy and interest. It worked out well.”
“Bakang had a great call with Jake – he sent me a long voice note all about it!”
“I had a delightful time getting to know Jessica and her mom on the video call. It was good to hear that Jessica is trying to bring awareness to her peers around her. I was happy to share my past projects with them and giving them advice on how they can do little projects and start her own Eco club in her school. It was so good to hear that they want to get involved in our projects in South Africa to help spread awareness.”