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.