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The AfriCat Environmental Education Programme

ee cheetah game driveafricat information centre

1. Title of Proposed Project: AFRICAT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME (see program: environmental education)


2. Name of Project Leader:
Helen Newmarch (see: introducing Mrs Helen Newmarch) and
Tammy Hoth-Hanssen (see: meet the family - Tammy)


3. Contact Details:

I. AfriCat Foundation Environmental Education Programme,
Contact Person: Helen Newmarch.
Tel: +264-67-304566 / Mobile: +264- 81 743 7479
Fax: +264-67-687051
email: and
P.O. Box 1889, Otjiwarongo, Namibia;


II. AfriCat North Environmental Education Wilderness Camp,
Contact Person: Tammy Hoth-Hanssen.
Tel: +264-67-687107/ 8 for Fax, Mobile: +264-81 354 8538
P.O. Box 118, Kamanjab, Namibia.


4. Geographic region

africat namibia map 700px

AfriCat Foundation Environmental Education Programme: 20,000 hectares (200 km²) Okonjima Nature Reserve, Central Namibia
AfriCat North Environmental Education Wilderness Camp: bordering Etosha National Park, Northern Namibia


5. Details of the AfriCat Project:


  • To continuously develop, propagate, and improve Environmental Education programmes for the benefit of Namibians, in the pursuit of increasing awareness and understanding of the complexity of environmental issues, to teach and encourage sustainable living practices, to promote greater tolerance of carnivores outside of protected areas, and to find practical solutions to the farmer-predator conflict situation.
  • To develop the knowledge, skills, and action-competence of learners and their communities, enabling them to participate in the conservation of their areas, leading to the sustainable management of carnivore populations in Namibia.
  • Through increased education and awareness, AfriCat is dedicated to the protection and conservation of wild & free-ranging carnivore populations in Namibia, ultimately ensuring the survival of the species.
  • To develop and support specific community initiatives, programmes, and projects, which are targeted to sustainably contribute to economic enhancement of households, with the consequent gradual, but steady impact of poverty alleviation and skill augmentation.

The AfriCat Environmental Education programme is an enabler within the broader Namibian education system. Catering to a wide spectrum of ages and socio-economic backgrounds, AfriCat’s vision is to harness the rapt attention which learners embody when they visit AfriCat’s two centres into a deep-seated awareness of ALL environmental issues and, specifically in the Namibian context, those involving the vexed juxtaposition between farming communities and the country’s large carnivores.

AfriCat strives to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, thereby: keeping carnivores in their natural habitat and creating economic value for communities in doing so, preventing the exploitation and inhumane treatment of carnivores, ensure that captive populations are well cared for, advance high value alternative animal husbandry methods, and develop additional agronomy skills.

AfriCat further believes that increased and active participation in environmental initiatives by a broad cross section of Namibia’s learners (age, sex, race, socio-economic, geographic) will contribute to establish a sound knowledge and awareness base for future policy-making and sustainability.


Evidence of its importance / need:

Within the Namibian government and NGO communities, there is a growing recognition of the importance of environmental education and sustainable development, and the role these play in the degradation of the country’s natural heritage. Whilst this was the main topic at the Namibia Environmental Education Network Conference which AfriCat’s educators attended recently, there is a lack of structured environmental education within the formal curriculum in most Namibian schools as well as the effective and practical teaching of this subject.

Apart from the need to evangelise the broad tenants of environmental education, there is a specific and practical requirement for the upgrading of the old, traditional methods and conventional wisdoms of both agriculture and livestock farming in all sectors of the country’s farming communities. AfriCat has identified the need for environmental education centres in the Otjozondjupa (Central Namibia) and Kunene (North-Western Namibia) regions, despite the existence of two official state EE Centres in Namibia, which have been neglected and rendered inactive.

namibia regions

A Charlie Mayhew (TUSK TRUST) quotation encapsulates the current imperative: "Investing in the youth of Africa has got to be part of the answer".
(see: The Tusk Trust and the Daily Telegraph join in and conservation in Namibia)
Despite the importance of predators within Namibia’s ecosystem as well as their great economic value for burgeoning tourism, a large number of carnivores are wantonly killed annually. This enhances the imperative to impart knowledge onto the farming communities such that they value the place of predators within Namibia’s natural order, as well as improve farming techniques such that farmer-predator conflicts are minimised.


Relevant background information to the project:

We have discovered that for many Namibian children and adults, the AfriCat Environmental Education Programme is their first camping and outdoor educational experience. Few have had the opportunity to visit wildlife reserves, observe antelope and wild large carnivores, and to experience the natural wonder of their own country. Neither have they been introduced to the vocational opportunities which tourism visitation, hand-in-glove with conservation, offers.

AfriCat has advocated environmental education since 1998 and acutely recognises the urgent need to offer as many learners, of all ages, exposure to the enormous challenges facing Namibia’s increasingly fragile natural heritage, and offering constructive solutions and an alternative path to the present one taken.


6. Explanation of how the project will be undertaken to meet its aims:

What does it involve?
After many years of working with farming communities it became evident that environmental education was vital to the long-term conservation of large carnivores, Namibia’s most endangered fauna. The main aim of the programme remains to develop and improve environmental education for the benefit of Namibians in an attempt to increase awareness and understanding of the complexities of environmental issues, promote greater tolerance of large carnivores outside of protected areas, and to find practical solutions to the human-wildlife conflict situation. The programme endeavours to develop the knowledge and skills of learners and their communities, enabling them to participate in the conservation and sustainable management of wildlife populations in Namibia.

The programme is aimed at pupils (ten years and older), tertiary students, and adults from the farming and teaching communities. They visit the Centres for 2 to 5 days in small groups (ideally no larger than 15–20), granting each learner the opportunity to play an active role in the programme.

It was evident that 2/3 days is insufficient to fully imbue the EE programme’s curriculum, and so from October 2013 a full 4-5day programme is now on offer. This will also facilitate bigger groups (average number in a class is 40 and above).

(AfriCat's EE weekend programme and AfriCat's Environmental Education Programme 2013


Day visits are occasionally accommodated, but the breadth of the subject matter as well as distance from main centres discourages these short visits.
The attendees learn the main environmental education tenants, and the urgent need for sustainable living as well as all the environmental and climatic challenges facing mankind today. AfriCat propagates its own curriculum, as well as those developed by other like-minded organisations, eg. Tusk Trust (PACE), Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust, Cheetah Conservation Fund, and the locally written ENVIROTEACH materials. As much of the teaching as possible is undertaken outside of the classroom and is 'hands-on' (practical).


The programme takes the students on a variety of walks in the "bush" (day, night, sunrise, sunset), game drives with lots of questions and explanations, cheetah-tracking on foot for the older groups, numerous enviro-games, visits to the AfriCat Information Centre, time close-up with AfriCat’s amazing 'feline' teachers (ambassadors), a visit to our neighbour Rare Endangered Species Trust for vulture and pangolin-viewing, as well as the very important practical involvement in whatever project is available. (

AfriCat emphasises fun, enjoyment and experience as a route to harnessing interest and appreciation and, consequently, positive conservation action.

See the AfriCat EE Facebook page


The programme’s aim is to open hearts and minds: we identify keen, motivated, and talented individuals within each group who are then invited back for a follow-up camp, so as to "keep the fires burning" and engender further passion.
In this way, AfriCat will be in a better position to mentor and support future community leaders with, surely, a passion for, and understanding of, conservation.


Operational procedures?

Visitors to the EE Centres should provide their own transport as AfriCat does not own a school bus. However, with the loan of Okonjima Lodge’s 22-seater bus, AfriCat have been able to assist some schools who would otherwise not have been able to attend. The Ministry of Education has provided transport on some occasions and we are trying to broaden this cooperation.
However, AfriCat are in dire need of transport for the programme educators to go about their work and in particular to be able to go to the different regions on the very scalable and far-reaching Outreach Programme.
Learner safety is paramount, and all educators are trained in hygiene, first aid, and child safety.


7. Anticipated achievements / outcomes / benefits / or risks:

The long-term impact of environmental education programmes on youth and adults is an extremely difficult metric to measure, for the following reasons:

i) The AfriCat EE courses are informal, emphasising enjoyment within a real environmental experience.

ii) Consequently, lectures are given, at an age appropriate level, with no formal "testing". We do ask our participants for feedback via emails, letters, and art projects such as mobiles or posters, or making a teaching/learning aid such as a food web from natural fibres, etc. This feedback doubles up as reinforcement as well as an indicator of better understanding and, at times, a "change of heart" or even a commitment to change. A follow up phone call from one of the teachers on our recent course to help a farmer-relative with his carnivore problem, and to order a solar cooker, is an example of using feedback as an indicator of some measure of success.

The numbers and details of all participants passing through each Centre are recorded and photographed. This facilitates follow-up.

Short-medium term impact on participants with regards to the programmes is also monitored through questionnaires completed after each visit.

AfriCat’s EE vision includes encouraging individuals to further their studies as far as possible and to grasp new opportunities.

Ultimately, AfriCat would like to be in a position to provide a study grant to individuals showing the greatest promise. This would necessitate close monitoring but would be a real indicator of success.


8. Timeframe

Both AfriCat EE Centres have been functional for a number of years, making use of donations as they become available. The programme seeks to run on a continuous basis.

Due to the recent donation by Tusk UK in support of a first-time, full-time educator’s salary for 2013 and the temporary provision of the site by Okonjima Lodge, the EE Centre at AfriCat’s main premises has been able to function relatively well and increasingly continuously (Ref. EE half-yearly report).

Due to relocation, the AfriCat North Centre will only be functional again in April 2014.


9. Closing word:

The AfriCat Foundation is dependent on support to maintain our various programs.

AFRICAT is familiar with the predator problems on communal and free-hold farmland along the western, northern and southern boundaries of the Etosha National Park and on farmland in central Namibia. In order to establish the effectiveness of relocating these trans-boundary carnivores, as well as the long-term sustainability of conflict mitigation practices – focusing on research as well as educating young Namibian farmers has become our focus.

Truly great projects need great sponsorship!

Realising the importance of AfriCat’s projects, sponsorship is what keeps this Foundation alive, and support on an 'ongoing basis' – is what is considered by many to be the most effective way of helping a foundation achieve good work.

One of the main reasons sponsors support AfriCat is because they recognises AfriCat’s change in emphasis from "capture and release" to an organisation concentrating on "conservation through education".

While still attempting to remove carnivores from areas in which they have absolutely no chance of survival, AfriCat’s new focus will be to work with farmers to find ways of living with these wonderful animals.

digging for water1education walkmaking ropeee 2013 learningee 2013 campfireee karibib


AfriCat relies on the goodwill of visitors and donors. Every penny counts, and save for statutory audit fees, all of AfriCat UK’s funds are applied to conservation in Namibia. The AfriCat website ( has sponsorship forms to download, which contain various animal adoption options.


amazon smileAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. If you already shop online with Amazon just switch to next time you log in and choose AfriCat America Inc at the top of the page before you make your purchase.

Then shop as normal! Its as easy as that!
More information about AmazonSmile can be found here:
This link will take you directly to amazon smile to support AfriCat.



Tusk Trust Tusk UK
Tusk Trust,
4 Cheapside House, High Street,
Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AA

Tel: +44 (0)1747 831 005







To make a donation:


Virgin Money Giving:

Pay online with Virgin Money Giving, donations will be routed to AfriCat through TUSK Trust.



Account name: AfriCat UK
Account number: 00767476
Bank: Barclays Bank PLC,
Address: 27 Soho Square, London W1D 3QR, UK.
Sort code: 20-52-69



africat america Account name: AfricatAmerica Inc.
Account number: 59312583
Bank: PNC
Branch: PNC Bank, Metro Center Branch.
Address: Metro Center, 1100 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria, Illinois, USA 61614.
Pay Routing: 021052053 (UPIC)


AfriCat America Inc.
Public Charity EIN: 20-3174862

Peter & Wanda Hanssen, 7601 W. Southport Road,
Peoria, Illinois 61615, USA.
Cell: +1 309 453 5556



AfriCat Foundation
Account number: 62245889186
Branch code: 28-06-73
Bank: First National Bank Namibia Ltd. Otjiwarongo Branch, Namibia
Postal Address: P.O. Box 64, Otjiwarongo, Namibia
Physical Address: 7 St Georges Street, Otjiwarongo, Namibia



ubuntu namibiaUBUNTU – Namibia e.V.
Susanne und Roland Schäfer

Bergstraße 67
76646 Bruchsal / Germany

Ihre Unterstützung unserer Projekte in Namibia freut uns sehr.
Bitte geben sie im Verwendungszweck Projekt AfriCat oder Projekt UBUNTU an.
Unser Spendenkonto in Deutschland:
UBUNTU-Namibia e.V.


Volksbank Bruchsal-Bretten eG
Konto Nr.: 64750
Bankleitzahl: 663 912 00663 912 00
IBAN: DE78 6639 1200 0000 0647 50
Um Ihnen eine Spendenbescheinigung zukommen lassen zu können, teilen Sie uns bitte
Ihre Anschrift mit:
Name, Vorname



spots logoRegistration Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel)  
20114314 NGO with anbi recognization. 
fiscal nr: 813081919.

Simone Eckhart 
Business Address: Spinetstraat 76, 
4876 XT Etten-Leur 


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