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.