ART OF CONSERVATION COMPLETES SIX-YEAR RWANDAN PROGRAM WITH LAUNCH OF LOCALLY-DIRECTED OFFSHOOT ORGANIZATION
International nonprofit to extend one-health conservation education and awareness initiative worldwide; will launch a new program in Guyana next month
Art of Conservation (AoC) caps off six years of successful conservation education programming in Rwanda with the exciting announcement that its local staff are launching their own nonprofit, Conservation Heritage – Turambe (CHT). Turambe means “let us be sustainable” in Kinyarwanda. CHT will carry on independently of AoC by 2014.
“The creation of CHT is incredibly exciting,” says Julie Ghrist, AoC Founder and Program Director. “When we launched our Rwandan program six years ago, we hoped to engage children in conservation, for the benefit of the mountain gorillas as well as for them, their communities, and the environment. We are so pleased to be able to leave a legacy in Rwanda, and AoC will help support the work of the new CHT organization as it develops.”
The next step for AoC is to expand its programming beyond Rwanda. The Executive Team is actively researching potential locations and partners. “Our art-inspired lesson plans and leadership development programs have universal application,” says Ms. Hanes, Executive Director. “We are very grateful to all who supported our efforts in Rwanda and look forward to expanding AoC programs worldwide.”
Next month, Ms. Ghrist will join AoC Executive Director Allison Hanes and AoC Board Member Dr. Lucy Spelman to launch a new AoC one-health conservation education and awareness program in Guyana, South America. AoC will partner with Karanambu Trust and Lodge and local communities in the North Rupununi region, a unique wetland/savanna ecosystem that is home to several endangered animals, including giant otters, giant river turtles, giant anteaters, jaguars, howler monkeys, and arapaima—a large freshwater fish.