Conservation awareness among school children

 
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Awareness programme for school children , Batticaloa, Sri Lanka © Darshani Wijesinghe

Objectives

 

  • Conducting awareness programmes in schools in order to educate children to conserve coastal areas and use resources sustainably;
  • Encouraging the community to live and work together in harmony; and
  • Inculcating good practices of cultivation and financial management among school children and women.

Background

The Batticaloa District on the eastern shore of Sri Lanka has been severely affected by a three-decade long civil unrest as well as repeated natural disasters. Many children are orphans with poor living standards and limited opportunities for knowledge outside the classroom.

Rapid development in the area, dependence on coastal resources and a lack of knowledge are placing heavy pressures on coastal ecosystems in the area. Creating awareness about the need for sustainable use of this environment and highlighting the threats facing ecosystems in the area has become imperative.

It is doubly essential to ensure that the next generation — young teenagers and children — are made aware of these issues.

Unlike adults, children and young teenagers are impressionable, extremely receptive to new ideas and they are excellent ambassadors of conservation education.It is vital that school children are taught to integrate conservation into their subconscious thinking, so that all their actions reflect measures for reducing the impacts of human actions.

 

Target beneficiaries

50 students from  Sri Maman Geswarwar Vidyalaya in Batticaloa.

Outputs

 

  • Pilot project propsals developed by students
  • "Environment Unit" comprising 20 students
  • Three vegetable plots in schol premises 
  • Art and essay competition 

Accomplishments and challenges

  • Awareness on coastal ecosystems — in particular mangroves — has been created among many school children.
  • Many of these students had never been on a field-trip or experientially understood the importance of coastal ecosystem. Their knowledge of the ecological importance of various sites in the area, as a consequence of this project, has been enhanced.
  • Pollution of beaches by these schoolchildren has ceased.
  • These students now have the skill of writing and implementing project proposals.
  • Knowledge gathered from project activities has been shared with other schools in the area.
  • Although vegetable gardens were damaged as a result of a flood, the mothers of these schoolchildren are happy to be involved in their children’s co-curricular activities.
  • The grantees and schoolchildren, although from different ethnic backgrounds, are working well together.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Awareness programme on climate change

Several display boards with environment related messages

Lessons Learned

 

 

Children can be used to convey the message of conservation to their parents and other elders of the community to effect changes in attitudes and behavior of adults.

 

 

Project Facts

Country

Location

Batticaloa

Topic

Duration

1st May 2011 to 30th Apr 2012

MFF Grant Amount

LKR 414,000.00

Co-financing Partner

Rev.M.Sumanananda

Visura Development Foundation
Weeraba Maha Pirivena, Thotamuna,
Nupe, Matara
Tel: + 94 41-2230671
visura@sltnet.lk

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