In 2010, Great Plains Conservation launched our Conservation Education program in Botswana. The focus of the conservation education program is the wildlife club at the primary school in Gudigwa, a remote village neighboring the Duba and Selinda reserves. Teaching the children of Gudigwa their central role in conservation and boosting their self-confidence are at the core of the Conservation Education program.
In addition to supporting the school’s wildlife club during the school year, each December 20 students spend four days at a Conservation Camp at Selinda Explorers Camp experiencing game drives, bush walks, conservation lessons, cultural activities, arts and craft, and of course the annual soccer match against the facilitators!
A particular benefit of the Conservation Camps is exposing the children to mentors and wildlife champions from their own community in the form of the Great Plains Conservation guides.
General School Supplies:
Book Bags, College-Ruled Paper, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Dry-Erase Markers, Glue Sticks, Markers, Pencils, Pens, Solar Lantern Lights, and Wide-Ruled Paper
(English) Alphabet, Math, and Word
Laminated Wall Charts:
(English) Human Body, Language, Math, Science, and World Maps
(English) Age-Appropriate Story Books, Biology, General Science, Health, Language/Grammar, and Math
Inflation Pumps, Jump Ropes, Netball/Basketballs, Soccer Balls, and Team Uniforms/Kits for Soccer
Markers, Pencils, Pens, Printer Paper, Rulers, Scissors, and Staplers
Bars of Soap, Combs, Deodorant, Hair Brushes, Hair Pins and Elastic Hair Bands, Hand Cream, Sanitary Napkins, Shampoos, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Vaseline, and Washing Powder
Great Plains Conservation has set up local craft groups for local women in the villages of Gudigwa and Seronga. The women create items which are sold in the curio boutiques of the all Great Plains Conservation camps. New skills are taught and traditional skills are encouraged through the creation of both traditional and non-traditional items including traditional basketwork, hand-sewn and embroidered products and hand-beaded glass and food nets.
The most tangible benefit of this program is teaching unemployed women new craft skills, which generates income. We have also seen an increase in confidence among the group members they now have skills that they see as valuable, and which translate to an income. In addition, they have acquired life skills and basic business skills as a group. They have used the income earned from the sale of their products to better themselves including starting small business and expanding or building new homes.
Tablets and Working Laptops
Art Supplies for Artist Initiatives and Community Produced Projects:
Craft Glue, Craft Scissors, Crochet Hooks, Earring Hooks, Gage Wire, *Knitting Needles (Adult and Child Sizes), Sewing Needles, Tape Measures, Wire Cutters, and Yarn
We have started a craft group for the children in the school teaching them to knit – hats, scarves and other items they find fun and interesting. We have had an overwhelming interest in the project from the pupils in the school and the boys in the group are showing the most skill and proficiency with knitting. The children really enjoy learning from our own Mother Kea – an established community member to is kind and patient with the children and has been involved with ladies craft groups in Seronga for many years now. Teaching boys and girls to knit is a fun activity that keeps them busy and teaches them a skill they don’t have. It’s a great time to bring everyone together and learn something new and different. We are all enjoying and sharing the experience together.
Knitting Needles (Any Material) and Wool of Various Colors and Size
Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.
Instead of taking candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.