Conservation Schools | African Wildlife Foundation

Conservation education—more than a school of thought

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Conservation Schools

  • Video: Lupani School - Sekute Community

    Lupani School - Sekute Community AWF recently constructed a new school in the Sekute Community of Zambia in the Kazungula Heartland consisting of five teacher houses and six modern classrooms, equipped with new desks. Immediately after its inauguration, 105 pupils enrolled in the school, which replaced a badly dilapidated school that only accommodated 55 pupils—a big step in a Chiefdom where currently 80% of the people are illiterate. The new school is an incentive for the Sekute communities' efforts in setting aside a Wildlife Conservancy, and protecting wildlife dispersal corridors.
  • Conservation Schools
  • Lupani School Nasson Tembo
  • Lupani Nasson Tembo
  • Lupani School Perrin Banks
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab Craig R. Sholley
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab James Mithamo
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab James Mithamo
  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab Craig R Sholley

Saving wildlife improves livelihoods for individuals.

Conservation schools inspire and provide communities with education opportunities and resources in exchange for the community’s participation in conservation. Setting aside land to protect wildlife or working with park rangers to stop poachers are examples of how communities are participating.

In our priority landscapes, African Wildlife Foundation builds or helps rebuild schools, develops conservation education curricula, provides supplemental training to teachers, and ensures the schools will last with the support from local businesses and missions. School locations are selected based on how critical the conservation need is.

We do not own any schools, directly operate any schools, or have any teachers or principals directly employed by AWF. Our goal is simply to support the foundation for education and provide knowledge that will improve lives for people and wildlife simultaneously.


Poverty and a lack of education hurts individuals, the land, and Africa’s wildlife.

When new generations reach adulthood in many rural areas, they are left to fend for themselves and forced to exploit the resources around them for their livelihood. This includes cutting down trees for charcoal or hunting and selling bushmeat. Conservation schools target the primary school level, because Africa’s population is the youngest in the world. By providing a sound education foundation, we are offering students opportunities to continue with school and job opportunities that may better help their lives, their communities, and their natural environment.


Conservation education ensures Africans and Africa’s wildlife have a future.

Here’s some of what we’ve done.

  • Rebuild the Lupani School for the people of Sekute Chiefdom in the Kazungula Heartland.

    To help the people of Sekute, AWF collaborated with the Sekute Chiefdom and rebuilt the area’s only primary school. This once-dilapidated mud structure has been transformed into a modern school with six classrooms, offices, and new houses for teachers. Here, 80% of the people are illiterate, making the Lupani School an incentive for the community to participate in wildlife conservation.

  • Establish the IT lab in Manyara Ranch Primary School in the Maasai Steppe Heartland.

    The Manyara Ranch Primary School is located in a very remote part in Tanzania—and like many schools around here, it lacked computers. AWF partnered with Annenberg Foundation to build a new IT lab with 40 new Internet-accessible computers. Many of the teachers did not know how to use a computer, so they were given an intensive two-week training session. AWF also helped incorporate conservation curriculum and continues to provide school supplies.  The school is situated on the grounds of the Manyara Ranch, which protects wildlife from Lake Manyara to Tarangire National Park.

  • Make a commitment to education.

    AWF announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, at the September 2013 CGI Annual Meeting, to build 15 new conservation primary schools over the next 10 years in African landscapes home to some of the world’s most important wildlife populations.

  • Make templates for future schools.

    We are working with architecture firm, MASS Design Group, to create conservation school templates, so no matter the location or geographic condition—dry area or a heavily forested ecosystem—all children in areas of high biodiversity will have access to a conservation school that improves their livelihoods and Africa’s wildlife.

    In early 2014, AWF and MASS Design broke ground on the first of these schools in rural Ilima, Democratic Republic of Congo.


Thanks to the generous support of members and other donors, we’re able to continue building conservation schools, providing school supplies, and training teachers. Learn more about our projects that help Africans learn how conservation can help their livelihood and save wildlife simultaneously.

  • Lupani Primary School
    Education for conservation in Zambia

    Education remains one of the major challenges facing Africa.

    In the Sekute community of Zambia, students often had to walk miles a day to attend school. Classes were...

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  • Manyara Ranch IT Lab
    Connecting local communities to the World Wide Web

    Information accessibility is low in rural communities.

    Though computers may be a part of everyday life for many students in Western countries, computers—and the...

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    All Projects

  • Manyara Ranch Primary School
    Rebuilding educational facilities in Tanzania

    The Maasai School was dangerously dilapidated.

    The school formerly located on Manyara Ranch was dilapidated, having seen no physical maintenance or repair in more...

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  • Ilima Primary School
    Going beyond the building to provide a holistic education in DRC

    In a remote part of rural DRC, AWF is building a different kind of primary school.

    When AWF arrived in Ilima, the local school was a ramshackle building that failed to serve the...

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