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.
The impact of the Conservation Education program is shown through the improvement in the students’ exam marks, retention of information from previous camp lessons, and through their improved self-confidence. The Gudigwa school went from having the worst pass rate in the region (37%) to 73% within two years of the program operating.
General School Supplies:
*Book Bags, *Chalk, *College-Ruled Paper, *Colored Construction Paper, *Colored Pencils, *Compasses, *Crayons, *Dry-Erase Markers, *Erasers, *Glue Sticks, *Handheld Pencil Sharpeners, *Markers, *Pencils, *Pencil Cases/Bags, *Pens, *Protractors, *Rulers, *Solar Calculators, *Solar Lantern Lights, and *Wide-Ruled Paper
(English) Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Bird and Animal Identification Books Specific to Botswana
(English) Alphabet, Math, and Word
Laminated Wall Charts:
(English) Human Body, Language, Math, Science, and World Maps
(English) *Age-Appropriate Story Books (Students 7-17 Years Old), *Biology, *General Science, *Health, *Language/Grammar, and Math
Flash Drives/Memory Sticks, *Microsoft Office for PC 2 Computers, Mobile Phones, Printers, Solar-Powered Working Laptops, Tablets, USB Cables, and Working Laptops
Inflation Pumps, Jump Ropes, Netball/Basketballs, Soccer Balls, Team Uniforms/Knits for Soccer, Tennis Balls, and Whistles
New or Gently Used Children’s Clothing and Shoes
*Antibiotic Ointment, *Band-Aids, and *Sanitary Napkins
Markers, Pencils, Pens, Printer Paper, Rulers, Scissors, Solar Calculators, and Staplers
Bowls, Pans, Plastic Serving Bowls, Cups, and Plates, Pots, Serving Spoons, and Spatulas
Books about Gardening, Cloth Caddy for Small Tools, Gardening Gloves, Hand Fork, Small Pruning Shears, Spades, and Trowel
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.
(English) Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, *Hesperian Health Guides: *Where There Is No Doctor, *Where There Is No Dentist, *Disabled Village Children, *Helping Children Who Are Blind, *Helping Children Who Are Deaf, *Community Guide to Environmental Health, and *HIV Health and Your Community
(English) Alphabet, Math, and Word
(English) General Science, Health, and Language/Grammar
Flash Drives/Memory Sticks, Mobile Phones, Printers, *Solar-Powered Working Laptops, Tablets, USB Cables, and *Working Laptops
New Bras and New or Gently Used Children’s Clothing and Shoes
Art Supplies for Artist Initiatives and Community Produced Projects:
Acrylic Brushes and Paints, Beads for Bead Work, Buttons, Clothing Catalogs, Craft Glue and Scissors, Crochet Hooks, Earring Hooks, Fabric Scissors, Fashion Magazines, Gage Wire, Glass Beads for Bead Work, Knitting Needles, Sewing Needles, Scissors, and Patterns, Tape Measures, Thread, Watercolor Brushes and Paints, Wire Cutters, Wool, and Zippers
(English) Books about Gardening, Cloth Caddy for Small Tools, Gardening Gloves, Hand Fork, Small Pruning Shears, Spades, and Trowel
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.