At the heart of AfriCat is the commitment to education. We all know that we engage more fully with things that we love and understand. Knowledge, on any level, increases awareness and changes perspective, which in turn changes attitudes and behaviours.
Generational behaviours and attitudes are perpetuated if we are not challenged to think differently, and to consider alternative perspectives.
It is this truth that AfriCat are committed to tackling in an effort to win the hearts and minds of Namibian youth for environmental conservation, enabling them to become future custodians of their world.
“The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action”
– Herbert Spencer
The goal, of course, is to understand that life choices have an impact, and by making different decisions, adopting different business/farming methods, modifying community choices, it is very possible to improve living standards while reducing the impact on wildlife.
By guiding Namibian youth towards a greater understanding of the natural world and the importance of wildlife conservation – especially, promoting predator and environmental awareness, AfriCat has dedicated itself to making a difference. Its’ view is that youth education is vital to the long-term conservation of large carnivores.
This is the goal.
Efforts to make the educational journey relevant, fun, engaging and age-appropriate such that the students absorb the message, is hugely important. Educators incorporate physical activities, problem-solving, critical thinking and thinking ‘outside of the box’ in order to keep things interesting!
AfriCat’s aim is to engage the people of Namibia to take a fresh look at the conservation of carnivores within the ecosystem that both wildlife and people find themselves….
To find solutions to these environmental challenges that persistently confront their country…..
To participate in the education of Namibia’s youth, especially, such that they take on the responsibility to act, making a difference in their future environment, and to enable both people AND wildlife to thrive and live harmoniously together.
In order to promote the core message of predator and wilderness protection, AfriCat have developed a multi-pronged approach to Environmental Education:
AFRICAT'S ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTERS
AfriCat has two Education Centres which continually host students and teachers from all over the world. These are based on the Okonjima Nature Reserve, and also North West of Etosha National Park at the AfriCat North base.
Primary and Secondary students from schools across Namibia, plus visiting students from schools and colleges in the USA, UK, Poland and Italy have made their way to the Centre’s since AfriCat’s Environmental Education Programme commenced in 1998.
AfriCat aims to expand this programme to specifically reach the schools which educate the children of governing Namibians. These students are likely to follow in similar professions, and may potentially be in positions of decision-making which could impact the long-term conservation of Namibia’s natural resources.