Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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By Mary Wykstra
Wallace Isaboke has been featured briefly in past blogs, but in this one I would like to tell a bit more about the school programmes he conducted from March – August 2009. First a bit about Wallace... he completed his Bachelor of Environmental Studies in 1997, was a volunteer involved in the implementation of a project known as “the Sustainable Utilization and Management of Wetlands and Wetland Products in the Lake Victoria Basin Kenya” at the Kenya National Environment Secretariat, under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and then was employed on the East African Wildlife Society Cheetah team from 2003-7. Wallace became interested in the community side of conservation work and applied for a Rufford Foundation grant to conduct education, awareness and community projects in a project called “Sustainable Cheetah Survival Through Conservation Education at the Machakos Wildlife Corridor, Makueni District, Kenya.”
One aspect of his conservation work was in school environmental education. Together with a volunteer named Sandy Ball, we set goals and laid out the framework for Wallace’s school programmes to test the different methods of information relay. We chose three methods of message delivery, 1) video, 2) poster visual support, and 3) puppets, to tell the story. We then wrote 16 questions and some demographic details which we wanted to have answered by the children and selected 6 schools in the area to receive programmes. In addition to other community programmes, Wallace organized the presentation dates and times, conducted a pre and post survey and delivered the message of cheetah conservation to the kids. Now, as Wallace enters the data and analyzes the results, we are seeking the funds to continue the school presentations and hope to hire an education employee to carry out the programmes suggested by Wallace. Who knows, maybe Wallace will even stay with us and conduct the programme???
Action for Cheetahs in Kenya needs your help. To make a donation, please visit Project Survival – www.cathaven.com/shop/
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