“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”
Local Schools and Community Environmental Education
The CLZ Nzou Education Centre provides accommodation for 24 children and 4 teachers. A large open-air classroom, outdoor eating facilities and hands-on exploratory room provide unique facilities for school children of all ages. The Environmental Education Program (EEP) was established in 2004 and now works with 50 basic/primary schools in the local area. Our project areas are: Chiawa, Chongwe, Rufunsa and Luangwa – the areas that surround the Lower Zambezi National Park. We provide educational support to schools through an outreach program, carrying out conservation lessons and activities through a wide catchment area and encouraging environmental and HIV/AIDS awareness clubs that continue in CLZ’s absence. In 2013 started distributing the CLZ EEP Outreach Curriculum to provide resources for sustainable conservation clubs (see below). Local school children also visit the Nzou activity centre for 4 day trips learning about the geography, biology and ecology of their local environment as well as how and more importantly, why to protect it.
Children learn about their vulnerable and vital environment through the CLZ Enviro-KITS (Knowledge, Importance, Threats and Solutions). Mornings are spent in interactive lessons, games and activities and afternoons are spent, maybe for the first time, seeing wildlife in the National Park whilst on a game drive or a boat cruise.
CLZ also run an annual teacher training workshop from one of the project areas each year. Teachers join together with their peers and learn the CLZ Enviro KITS curriculum and how to introduce more environmental education into their own schools.
Safari Guide Training
With the help and support of the Royal Danish Embassy and DANIDA CLZ introduced a full Safari Guide Training Course to the Lower Zambezi in 2008. Greg Poole was recruited to train candidates and structure the course. A total of 9 local trainees were taken on board. The trainees spent just over 3 months at the CLZ Base Camp covering primarily theoretical guide training with basic practical experience in the field. They were then sent on commercial placement to various lodges in the GMA and LZNP where they spent a further 3 months gaining in depth practical experience on site.
Needless to say all of the trainees featured extremely well in their exams and all 9 have now been formally employed as Safari Guides in the Lower Zambezi area.
A Safari Guide Training Manual specialised for the Lower Zambezi area was also produced during the scheme. The availability of such a universal resource has helped to open up the tourism and guiding industry specifically to local participants.
CLZ runs the Lower Zambezi Safari Guide exams annually and frequently offers sponsorship to local candidates when funds are available.