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Education project 2 of 4
Title
Wildlife Clubs of Uganda
Location
Communities around the Mgahinga National Park
Gorillas
Mountain gorillas
Local Partner:   WCU
Description

Southwest Uganda is densely populated and the majority of people earn a living through labour-intensive subsistence farming. The low productivity of this way of life has resulted in widespread poverty, and as a result, local people often encroach on the national parks for farmland or trespass to obtain resources such as firewood, threatening the survival of mountain gorillas. By educating people on the need for conservation from a young age they will grow up with an awareness of environmental issues, and will thus behave in an environmentally sensitive manner. In 1975, Wildlife Clubs of Uganda (WCU) was launched as a national NGO and it now has more than 1,000 clubs throughout Uganda. In 2006, the Gorilla Organization joined forces with WCU, implementing a project through which wildlife clubs in schools around the gorilla habitat are established and supported.

The overall objective of the project is to develop an environmental awareness within the communities surrounding Uganda’s national parks and involve young people in conservation efforts. The specific objectives are: 

  • To establish and support wildlife clubs in at least 100 primary schools and 50 secondary schools in southwest Uganda
  • To train teachers as wildlife club leaders through a series of workshops
  • To arrange seminars, excursions and competitions for wildlife club members

 

Progress

An initial workshop, attended by 30 teachers, was held to introduce the wildlife clubs programme and to encourage the teachers to either establish new clubs or reinvigorate existing ones. To date, a total of 78 wildlife clubs have been established through the project and nearly 3,000 pupils have collected membership cards from WCU. Wildlife club activities include: planting trees and vegetables in school gardens; arts and crafts; music, drama and dance; screening of wildlife documentaries; discussions; and competitions. Members and teachers are also given the opportunity to take part in excursions to the Mgahinga National Park, where they gain first-hand experience of conservation in action. WCU is producing manuals for teachers to ensure that club activities raise awareness of conservation issues in an effective and fun way, and four editions of their newsletter are produced and distributed each year.

To become proficient wildlife club leaders, teachers will take part in further workshops to hone their skills and ensure they are equipped with up to date information on wildlife and conservation issues. New clubs will be registered and further schoolchildren will be encouraged to become members of all existing clubs. In addition to individual club pursuits, WCU will continue to hold seminars, excursions and competitions for wildlife club members to supplement their learning and ensure they get the best experience possible out of their wildlife club.

 

 

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