Environmental Education

Tacugama Kids Environmental Education Programme (TKEEP) aims to increase sensitization and environmental awareness in primary schools, and give students the life skills to solve the environmental issues of the future.

The programme has been successful in 12 schools around the Western Area Peninsula National Park (WAPNP) and 15 rural schools from Moyamba, Tonkolili and Pujehun Districts. Currently the program involves over 900 students and distributes exciting and comprehensive environmental curricula, while also facilitating hands-on learning experiences for the students. We prioritize working with rural schools in smaller communities who have traditionally used the forest reserve to support their livelihoods.

The main purpose of TKEEP is to create an understanding of the importance of the forest 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 such as construction of roads and houses.

TKEEP 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 WAPNP, and discusses themes like conservation, logging, hunting and bushmeat trade. The lessons are taught using participatory methods, fun and games.

Students are encouraged to go above and beyond the curriculum and have opportunities to win scholarships and prizes by displaying exemplary initiatives in conservations within their communities and around their schools. TKEEP aims to facilitate field trips to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, and hosts conservation events and environmental days to increase appreciation for nature.

In 2021, part of the TKEEP workbook was officially integrated into the national education curriculum on Sierra Leone! We hope to see more content included as we move forward.

The aim of our tours is to educate visitors about the importance of chimpanzees and the forests they inhabit, and spread the message of environmental conservation. The rescued chimpanzees act as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, and seeing them first-hand helps people bridge the gap between humans and animals. By informing visitors of the threats to chimps and other wildlife and the laws that protect them, we are actively engaging new audiences into the conservation movement. Moreover, on Public Holidays local communities are invited to Tacugama for a free sanctuary tour.

Students have the opportunity to visit the sanctuary and see chimpanzees for real. In addition to the tour, schools also benefit from further environmental learning activities from Tacugama’s education team. We want to teach children about the nature of chimpanzees, the laws that protect them, the threats they face and what we as communities can do about it to nurture the next generation of conservationists!

Roots & Shoots is a youth leadership program started by the Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania that has gained momentum across the globe and now exists in over 50 countries and growing. This program is intended to engage young adults to be exposed to a variety of environmental topics through a range of activities. Each month is assigned a different theme e.g. November is “Waste & Pollution” and participants are guided through different practical activities, debates and discussions to fully comprehend the theme at hand. Throughout the year, participants are encouraged to take action so they can raise awareness, create community events and engage people themselves.