This project aims to inspire young conservationists living in rural communities in eastern Zambia and to provide them with the tools needed to conserve their local wildlife. Benson Beza, a Chipembele student who was at University, sadly passed away earlier this year. He touched the lives of so many with his passion for conservation and determination to make a difference. As a tribute to his legacy, we will establish conservation awards for underprivileged students who embody his key attributes.
The rural settlement of Mfuwe, at the gateway to South Luangwa National Park, faces a multitude of social, economic and environmental problems. There are few opportunities to learn about wildlife and conservation which do not form part of the school curriculum. This gap in knowledge has led to a lack of interest to protect the natural habitats, compounded by negative views due to human wildlife conflict. Furthermore, most local children have never been in the neighbouring National Park.
We aim to use an innovative and engaging conservation education programme to address the knowledge gap and provide the inspiration, guidance and training to create Zambian conservation leaders of the future. The Benson Beza Conservation Award programme will select the top students from 19 local schools who will be given a unique conservation-based leadership development experience, putting them in a position to change attitudes and improve behaviour for the benefit of all.
We are making impactful changes from the ground up by developing a passion for wildlife and its protection in the younger generation, putting decision making about conservation in the hands of informed and motivated Zambian youth who will progress to establish positions of influence. The winners of the annual Conservation Awards have the potential to participate in our bespoke 12-month school-leaver professional training programme and will act as role models for their peers and younger students.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).