The look of pride on these children’s faces as they watch a recent episode of Peace Parks TV showcasing their performance of a poem is heart-warming. A few weeks ago, during a visit to Zambia, the Peace Parks team were lucky enough to be treated to a show from Sikuzu schoolchildren in the Simalaha Community Conservancy.

The talented scholars wrote and recited their poems, which highlighted the importance of trees. Their performance was filmed, and a short video was created for Peace Parks TV. Both the world and the children’s friends and families can see the work that they are doing at school while also learning a thing or two about the importance of the environment.

One of the main aims of Peace Parks Foundation’s Environmental Awareness Programme in collaboration with Children in the Wilderness is to create a better understanding and awareness amongst children in rural communities about the need to protect our natural resources.

One of the ways this is taught is by creating eco-clubs that teachers or community members voluntarily run. The clubs incorporate fun nature-related activities as a part of the school curriculum. Through fun learning activities, such as song and dance, eco-clubs instil a passion and awareness for the natural environment within the younger generation, hopefully fostering the future custodians and guardians of this land.

With a lack of basic schooling infrastructure in rural areas throughout Africa, the school completion rate remains low. This can be attributed to having non-permanent structures that are ill-equipped to deal with the soaring summer heat or cold winters. Very often, there is no access to clean water, sanitation or electricity. One of Peace Parks’ core focus areas is to improve the socio-economic conditions of communities living in transfrontier conservation areas and has led the development of new schooling infrastructure in several areas, including the Simalaha Community Conservancy. This, as well as being involved in the facilitation of eco-clubs and a range of other projects, will lead to higher literacy and graduation rates. As one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities is at the forefront of Peace Parks’ education projects.

Keep watching Peace Parks TV to see more progress from Simalaha Community Conservancy.