A grant from the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda has enabled the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to expand its conservation education efforts, by adding a teacher training program, starting in 2015. A teacher training workshop brought together 30 teachers from 15 primary schools located near the national park where the gorillas live, for presentations on biodiversity, conservation issues and activities, and mountain gorilla ecology, behavior and conservation.
Also part of the program, a number of field visits for the teachers were arranged, including a gorilla trek and a golden monkey visit this month, after a climb to the top of Mt. Bisoke in December. This way, the teachers have seen the different vegetation zones as well as many of the most-endangered animals in the forest, all of which will enhance their delivery of conservation programs in their schools.
“The conservation training has impacted me positively, learning about the importance of biodiversity, and that what wildlfe needs to survive is similar to what humans need to survive,” says Kabara school teacher Juvenal Ruzirakuvuka. “It will help me motivate school children to love and protect biodiversity and will help prepare them for conservation in the future.”
We are grateful to the United States Embassy in Rwanda for providing funding to carry out these teacher training activities. We thank the Rwanda Developent Board (RDB) for their assistance in organizing the teacher training workshop. We also appreciate the collaboration of headmasters and teachers from all the schools that made the implementation of the different activities possible.