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Celebrating gorillas on World Environmental Day

All types of conservation action can help save gorillas, so the Fossey Fund works with people to help raise awareness and learn about steps they can take to make a difference. Even small acts can have a huge effect.

In June, the Fossey Fund joined students in Rwanda to help celebrate World Environmental Day, with this year’s theme of “Only One Earth.” Fossey staff worked with nature club members from the local Rushubi school to learn some techniques for grafting fruit trees and other plants, which is a great way to propagate them.

The students had a wonderful time learning these techniques and were inspired to take their skills home with them.

“After joining the nature club at school and learning a lot about the environment, I have planted five avocado trees and other agroforestry trees at home,” says Igiraneza Gedeon, student and nature club member.

Student nature clubs help the environment

Nature club student participating in World Environmental Day.

The school nature clubs in Rwanda are wonderfully successful in helping students learn about the environment and gain skills in a variety of topics. To help motivate and reward their hard work on World Environmental Day, the Fossey Fund provided the students at the Rushubi school with notebooks, pens, and mathematic sets, as well as some materials for the school.

Through our conservation education program, the Fossey Fund supports nature club projects in 20 primary schools located near Volcanoes National Park, where the gorillas live. Each year we work with the clubs to develop projects that will help both the environment and the local communities. Our tree planting nurseries have been especially successful, producing fruits, seeds, bamboo and trees that can then be distributed within communities near the schools.

In addition, our research demonstrates that the students in Nature Clubs in primary schools around Volcanoes National Park can play a significant and effective role in spreading conservation information and awareness. Children do a good job communicating the conservation knowledge they gain in Nature Clubs to other household members, which leads to better outcomes for the environment overall.

Students learning techniques of grafting trees.
Students with the trees they will be planting.