Through its Classroom Africa program, AWF is giving rural communities in Africa access to a quality primary school education for their children—and in the process incentivizing them to participate in conservation in exchange for education opportunities.
Part of this effort includes supplementing classroom lessons with conservation-focused field trips and extracurricular activities. At the Lupani Community Primary School in Zambia, for example, teachers underwent training to learn how to teach science in a way that makes use of the natural world around them. The landscaping around the school was designed to underscore this connection. Nature trails lined with indigenous trees—all properly labeled, of course—weave throughout the campus.
The biggest conservation impact of Classroom Africa, however, comes from the landscape protection that goes hand-in-hand with our support. In exchange for AWF constructing a new school or renovating an existing one—and providing teacher training, conservation education and other support to ensure a quality school—communities agree to specific, significant conservation actions. With Lupani School, for example, the community set aside roughly 40,000 hectares of their land for a critical elephant corridor. These conservation covenants directly address the threats that make each location a priority for AWF in the first place.