EDUCATION PROGRAMME
 
 


The aim of our tours at Tacugama is to dismiss any negative premonitions about chimpanzees, at the same time informing our visitors about the nature of chimpanzees, the laws which surround them, and the problems and dangers that face them in the wild.

We also spend a lot of time educating about the importance of environmental conservation. We work with local children in schools on the peninsula and local communities in an effort to try to stem encroachment of towns and settlements into the forest.
 
We visit schools once every term, in order to teach the children about conservation and the importance of coexistence between humans and the environment. Results from our questionnaires have shown that the children both enjoy and learn well from these sessions.

TKEEP

Tacugama is running its own Kids Environmental Education Programme (TKEEP) that is functional in 15 junior secondary schools surrounding the Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve (WAPFR). We prioritize working with rural schools in smaller communities who have traditionally used the forest reserve to support their livelihoods. The programme aims to target 1300 children, aged 12-13 years, each academic year.

The main purpose of TKEEP is to create an understanding of the importance of the WAPFR and generate interest for its protection. The forest plays a crucial role in ensuring clean water supply for Freetown and is coming under increasing threat from excessive human activity, construction of roads and houses.

Tacugama teaches in accordance to the national curriculum and includes an introduction to ecosystems and habitats, tropical rainforests, the water cycle, pollution, biodiversity and wildlife of the WAPFR, and discusses themes like conservation, logging, hunting and bushmeat trade. The lessons are taught using participatory methods, fun and games.
When evaluating the children, results have shown that the children both enjoy and learn from these sessions.

NATURE CLUBS

Tacugama is also collaborating with partners on a European Union funded project, WAPFoR. Our partners are This has enabled us to set-up Nature Clubs in the TKEEP schools. The Nature Clubs encourage students in classes JSS 1-3 to participate further in practical activities and become environmental ambassadors in their school and community. Activities have included gardening, tree planting, creation of waste pits and litter pick-up exercises.

Debates, quizzes, radio discussions and dramas have also been conducted to reach the wider communities. The Nature Clubs are supervised by the schools’ coordinating teachers and supported by the WAPFoR programme.

SCHOOL VISITS TO TACUGAMA

A selection of TKEEP JSS 1 students, have participated in a day-long field trip to visit the sanctuary and undertake more environmental learning activities. We want to tell the children about the nature of chimpanzees, the laws that protect them and the problems and dangers they face in the wild.

In general a lot of schools use Tacugama for excursion trips, and we always try to encourage schools to arrange for tours to the sanctuary.

TREE NURSERY
Early 2009 saw the start of the Tacugama Tree Nursery. The nursery is located in an area between the sanctuary and Freetown. The city is rapidly encroaching the countryside, with many houses being built but very few utilizing the land to grow produce. The nursery contains a few hundred seedlings, including mango and guava trees, and will provide some fruits for the sanctuary at the same time generating local employment. Ultimately, we wish to demonstrate the potential for successful small-scale plantations thus encouraging local villagers to plant for themselves.

We have now combined the Tacugama Tree Nursery program with the Kids program to teach children the importance of trees and how to plant their own trees. We distribute seedlings in each school and visit the schools to help them with the development of their trees.