Category Archives: Kusanganisa Educational Program

Kusanganisa News Flash


The Tikki Hywood Trust together Werribee Open Range Zoo on Friday 14 2008, were awarded the “Best Education Program for 2008”. The award was announced at a gala dinner in Taronga Zoo Sydney. The panel that judged the ARAZPA, comprised of zoo experts from New Zealand and Australia. The ARAZPA, is the highest and best award that any zoo related program can win.

The below is an excerpt from Rachel Lowry of Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Date Program commenced operation:
In May 2006, Lisa Hywood (Founder of the Tikki Hywood Trust) approached Werribee Open Range Zoo requesting assistance with the development of an education program to be based within rural Zimbabwe. The Tikki Hywood Trust (THT) hoped to establish a conservation education program that would promote sustainable behaviours within local communities situated alongside THT animal release sites. In September 2006 Rachel Lowry traveled to Zimbabwe to assess the feasibility of establishing an education program within Zimbabwe that could be linked to education programs run by Werribee Open Range Zoo. In February 2007 ‘Conservation Connections’ was launched as two Werribee Open Range Zoo educators, Rachel Lowry and Katie Pahlow returned to Zimbabwe to establish the in-situ component of the three-tiered Conservation Connections program titled ‘Kusanganisa’.

Conservation Connections is a three-tiered conservation education program developed by Werribee Open Range Zoo. Australian students first participate in An African Experience, where they connect with Africa’s magnificent wildlife and learn about issues devastating these species. Students wanting to take action against the bush-meat crisis and poaching then participate in the Ungana Project, developing wildlife education resources to be utilised in conservation education in Africa. In 2007, Conservation Connections inspired more than 780 Australian school students to take action for African wildlife. As a result, Werribee Open Range Zoo distributed 360 kilograms of wildlife education resources to Zimbabwe for Kusanganisa. These resources are used to enhance the capacity of Kusanganisa, the conservation education program facilated by the Tikki Hywood Trust.

On behalf of the Tikki Hywood Trust we would like to thank both Rachel’s and Katie’s tremendous support and belief in our Kusanganisa Project here in Zimbabwe. Their patience and determination to help Kusanganisa develop into what it currently is today has been tireless. When I first met Rachel in 2005, whilst I was in fundraising in Australia, I was drawn to her no nonsense approach toward conservation education. Rachel, Katie and I have been privileged to be apart of such a worthwhile project which is making a difference to both teachers and children alike here in Zimbabwe. With so much going against us here in Zimbabwe it is positive to know that Kusanganisa continues and the children are constantly reminded just how important both wildlife and their environment are to their own survival. For this project to continue here in Zimbabwe, it would not be possible with out the financial support of The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands. Together with the Embassy we have been able to introduce the Phase 3 into the schools. It is a huge peace of mind for us at the Tikki Hywood Trust to know that this project will continue to go from strength to strength due to people such as the Werribee Open Range Zoo and the Royal Embassy of The Netherlands.

Introducing “Kusanganisa” Educational Program

What is the ultimate aim of the Tikki Hywood Trust?

The Tikki Hywood Trust aims to conserve Southern Africa’s lesser-known species by utilizing education and conservation as stepping-stones towards a future where humans live in harmony with wildlife.

We have come to realise in this growing economic hardship that few children in rural areas actually get to complete high school. If children do not attain the necesary survival skills for rural life at a primary school level, then their future is shadowed indeed. We currently operate our Kusanganisa (a Shona word, meaning “come together”) program within 3 schools in Zimbabwe and each are situated near a release site for the animals the Trust works with. In time we hope that this can expand and include all areas of Zimbabwe. What is the Kusanganisa Conservation Club?

PHASE 1 – CHIDZIRO ‘Laying the foundations’ Grade 1 – Grade 3


Before we can ask children to save the earth, first we must teach them to love it. The Tikki Hywood Trust will harness children’s innate sense of wonder and encourage them to explore the earth’s natural beauty whilst facilitating experiences that allow children to connect with African wildlife. Objectives:

  • Identify and recognize different African animals
  • Competently group animals into basic groups. e.g. bird, insect etc.
  • Explore local environments and develop skills that will enable children to identify the presence of wildlife. eg. Scats etc.
  • Describe unique attributes of different animals via observations eg. Patterns etc.

PHASE 2 – KUDZWA ‘Developing an understanding of our natural world’ Grade 4 – Grade 6

Children must develop an understanding of our interconnected environment before they can live in balance with the natural world.

Nehanda Primary SchoolNehanda Primary School

Nehanda Primary School


  • Develop an understanding of our interconnected relationships within our environment
  • Develop a greater appreciation for the animals that live within our environment
  • Develop an understanding of different social structures within the animal world Investigate a variety of adaptations that enable animals to survive
  • Investigate the importance of habitat and the consequences of habitat loss.
  • Investigate the importance of earth’s natural resources eg. Water
  • Explore potential threats to wildlife and the consequences of extinction

PHASE 3 – KURANGARIRA ‘Providing students with the skills needed to live sustainably’
Grade 7

Through the participation of sustainable practices student develop knowledge, skills and behaviours that have the potential to benefit local communities and allow children to make informed life-style choices.


  • Consolidate prior understandings of animal requirements
  • Develop respect for animal needs and value
  • Develop skills that enable students to embark on sustainable practices.

Within phase 3 of the program there are livestock rearing projects to teach the children sustainable farming practices on a small scale. These projects include developing medicinal gardens, raising rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens as well as small scale market gardening projects.

Vegetable Garden at Nehanda Primary SchoolGardening at Nehanda Primary SchoolNehanda Primary SchoolNehanda Flag