Kasanka Trust - Zambia
Kasanka's outreach projects - Environmental Education
Kasanka Trust actively seeks support from the local community to secure
the long-term future of Kasanka National Park. By using education as a
basic tool, Kasanka Trust is trying to increase the community's awareness
of conservation and promote economic development. With the support of
The Ministry of Education, Kasanka Trust has set up a project to aid education
in Kafinda Game Management Area. The project is funded by external donations
from various trusts and charities as well as individual sponsors.
Kasanka makes helping community schools a priority as they are started
by local initiative and survive on so little. Assistance from the Trust
includes giving advice and support wherever needed, paying untrained teachers'
salaries and sending them on training workshops, as well as donating teaching
resources and building materials.
We are also encouraging more and more schools to sign up for membership with the Wildlife and Environmental Society of Zambia. A key element of the Society's Environmental Education Programme is the production of environmental education material such as the Chongololo and Chipembele magazines.
The Education Project co-ordinates and facilitates school park visits to promote conservation education in the area, and has constructed an Interpretation Centre at Kasanka's new Conservation Centre near the park gate which is visited by school groups frequently. The Centre also operates a preschool for children of our employees.
Through 'Ecokids,' a school-swapping initiative based in Holland, Kasanka connected a Dutch school with a local Zambian school. The schools exchange educational material including drawings, poetry and essays along a theme of conservation. The link is the first of its kind in Zambia.
Kasanka is located in the Kafinda area, under the traditional leadership of Chief Chitambo IV. It was this Chief's great grandfather who received David Livingstone on his deathbed, and a memorial stands today near the park marking the spot where the explorer died. About 100,000 people live in the area and survive by subsistence farming. The predominant crops are millet, cassava and groundnuts, many of which are cultivated using traditional slash and burn farming techniques known locally as 'chitemene'. Whilst some people keep goats, pigs and chickens, fish, either locally caught or traded is the main source of animal protein.
The Kasanka Trust Community Project is dedicated to reducing poaching in the area by providing sustainable alternatives. The project promots more sustainable forms of agroforestry over the 'chitemene' system of farming and teaching alternatives to increase the amount of protein available. Villagers are also encouraged to seek income through activities such as craft making, vegetable gardening and chicken, rabbit and goat rearing.
Most importantly the local community is being encouraged to develop income-generating projects through sustainable use of their natural resources including wildlife, fish, timber and other forest products in the Game Management Area outside the national park. The area now has eight resource committees reporting to a central Community Resources Board for the Chiefdom.
Kasanka Trust supports the Community Resource Board by giving it 5% of its tourism income (more than 10% of tourism revenue) from Kasanka. This helps the community see a direct benefit from every visitor to the park and provides funding for small community projects
The most ambitious community development project of the Kasanka Trust was the founding of a new Rural Health Centre at Chalilo, just north of Kasanka. The work was carried out by members of the local community for just some small allowances. Materials were supplied through a grant from the German Embassy and the States of Guernsey development fund who also paid for all the equipment in the clinic.
By the end of 2002 the Chalilo clinic building was completely finished
and equipped. There was a handing over ceremony in July 2002 at which
the German Ambassador attended.
How can you help?
By making a one time donation or establish regular contributions you can join the fold of Kasanka Trust supporters. You will receive regular newsletters to keep you up to date with what's going on and you will be especially welcomed should you find time to visit the park.
Kasanka Trust is a registered charity. U.S. Donations can be made through Generosity in Action.
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