To hear Craig Sholley tell it, AWF never intended to build schools. Supporting capacity building and opportunities for conservation education, sure. But physically building a school?
In Africa, getting access to a good education isn’t so easy if you live in the bush. Meanwhile, these rural areas are where you find the rich habitats and wildlife.
Through the AWF Conservation Schools (ACS) program, AWF has leveraged education as a way to encourage conservation among rural communities: In exchange for target communities agreeing to take certain conservation actions, AWF is building, or rebuilding, primary schools.
After a successful first year of our Conservation Management Training program (CMTP), we welcomed a new class of impressive young professionals to this rigorous training program—and I had the opportunity to learn a little about the new additions to the program.
AWF’s Lupani School in Zambia’s Sekute Chiefdom continues to contribute and enhance the educational needs of the school children in the area. It is one of two AWF schools that have inspired AWF to begin to conceive and craft a continent-wide African Conservation Schools (ACS) initiative to approach educational and conservation needs.
Lioness in Tarangire / Photo by: Leslie Wainger
Our final “day” in Tarangire was really just a drive out of the park, then on to Manyara Ranch and the affiliated primary school, before finishing up at Gibbs Farm, a resort (the only appropriate word, if you ask me) aka eco-lodge where we would be spending the night before moving on to the Ngorongoro Crater. But honestly, there was just no such thing as making a “clean getaway” from Tarangire, because the wildlife would not be denied.