Art of Conservation started the one-health awareness programs at the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club. The Rwandan team: Valerie, Eric, Innocent, Olivier, and Eusebe continue carrying on AoC’s work!! If you recall, the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club is one of the great local community initiatives that we have been supporting for eight years. Children are provided the opportunity to exercise, practice teamwork, and gain a sense of accomplishment. In addition to that the club also brings local people together leading to a stronger sense of community and pride while playing sports in the name of conservation.
My colleagues and I say, “Let us carry on this great initiative!” The children are eager to know more about what surrounds them in order to protect them!
Recently, our discussion began with review questions from previous lessons. I ask, “Somebody please tell me the name of Rwanda’s three national parks.” The children raise their hands saying, “Me! Please, me! Please!” This is different from what happens during our lessons with children in schools. They say, “Teacher, teacher!” It draws my attention and makes me happy when I see happy children wanting to respond to questions and eager to learn!
Children are excited to respond to the review question before I introduce the new topic of the day.
We distribute a map to each child. I ask them to point to the areas depicting mountain gorilla habitat.
Each child points and shows me the two places where mountain gorillas live: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Massif.
I keep on monitoring the children to make sure they all understand that our gorillas live in only two places. I know some children are young and they may have been distracted by a passing car on the road since the tennis courts are located next to a main road!
I help our students study the map.
I guide the kids thoroughly on what the Virunga Massif means with the help of another close-up illustration. They now know that mountain gorillas are not only in Rwanda but in other neighboring countries namely, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They also learn the name of the park in each country. It is such a discovery for these children to know what the Virunga Massif is made up with.
Our youth sports kids ask questions as we study the Virunga Massif.
The next session is the art activity. During this session, children have fun. Their drawings are very good. The first excise they draw a proportional silverback mountain gorilla and the second exercise they draw their own mountain gorilla.
With Eric’s instruction, children have fun drawing a proportionally correct silverback mountain gorilla using a pencil and they paint their artwork with watercolors.
Happily, Coach Rachid joins the children during the workshop. “Do gorillas live in one family?” he asks. This might be our next workshop topic. Let us think about it.
Stay tuned for more blogs coming!
-Art of Conservation completed seven years of successful conservation programming in Rwanda with the exciting announcement that its local staff has launched their own nonprofit, Conservation Heritage – Turambe (CHT). Turambe means “let us be sustainable” in Kinyarwanda. Please keep up-to-date on more Art of Conservation & Conservation Heritage – Turambe news with our e-newsletter. Simply send us your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!-