The youth are the leaders of today and it important to engage them in every possible way to ensure that they are aware of the dire situation on the ground when it comes to the poaching crisis in Africa.In a span of two days, AWF has already managed to reach out to 4 schools in Shanghai giving presentations and screening the short film, ‘Sides of a Horn’ to the students. The students were engaging and the questions they posed to Nathan Gichohi, AWF Species Protection Manager showed that they have had a genuine interest and the passion to protect wildlife.
“I have not yet had a chance to visit Africa and see the wildlife but from the zoo, one can tell that they are majestic creatures that need to be protected,” Raymond Chen, a student at Shanghai Beicai Senior High School said during the school visit.
Most of the over 1000 students reached in this campaign expressed interest in learning more about African endangered species and will be visiting the exhibition at the Shanghai Zoo during the Golden Week holiday that runs from October 1-7 2019. This holiday attracts Chinese from other provinces as well to larger cities and the zoo expects a spike in the visitors they will be receiving during this period.
The students had strong sentiments about the effect of poaching and pledged to be good ambassadors spreading the word to their families and friends back home. The youth population in China is slowly growing and there is a need for them to have the correct narrative of Africa’s wildlife. These campaigns are one way of ensuring that this happens.
“Engaging the youth is a core part of the AWF new strategic plan that we are building up on to ensure that we bridge the information gap in China and create a mindset shift when it comes to the ‘benefits’ of animal products. You cannot put a price tag on an elephant, they are priceless.” Eric Coppenger, AWF Vice President of Program Design and Advocacy says.