Elephants are abducted from forests, torn from their families, and brutalized for profit. Hundreds of captive elephants die each year from abuse and neglect. They are gardeners of the earth, dispersing seeds in their dung, and promoting tree-growth in forests that give us oxygen to breathe. India houses 1.35 billion people, more than half of them below 25 years of age. The young people of India hold the future of Asian elephants in their hands, and we need to enlighten their tender hearts.
Project Asian Elephants 101, a week-long program, will be delivered in three phases. First we will screen the epic film, Gods in Shackles, that exposes the plight of Asian elephants, followed by Q&A. Next, the in-class sessions will cultivate theoretical and conceptual skills. The last two days offer Nature Immersion, when the 101 youth will connect with elephants, nature and one another. It will create mind shifts, and galvanize them to lead their communities, equipped with empowerment tools.
Education will foster compassion and reverence, inspiring the youth to protect and conserve Asian elephants. Experiential learning will enhance cognitive skills, expand imagination, unlock creativity, and instill leadership skills, guiding a new generation of informed policy/ decision makers to make mindful choices. Baba Dioum, Senegalese forestry engineer, said, "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."
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