Friday, March 14, 2008

A Challenge!!!! Successfully accomplished ….

Last Wednesday ECO-V team and I had a big challenge to face. It was a school workshop for Advance Level students of Udawalawa Maha Vidyalaya. This is the main school we have been conducting our school awareness programme for the Pelican Conservation Project since last year. When we started our project at Udawalawa last May no body knew us , as it was the first time we visited the area with the new project funded by UNDP/GEF and WFN. The challenge was to complete the proposed activities to achieve the goals within one year. Fortunately we met two youngsters Nalinda and Bandara along with Harsha from ECO-V who was a real leader for the youngsters. Slowly we were able to win the hearts of community and with our awareness programmes we created a new passion for conservation education which was happily accepted by the community members and school children. Our method was highly appreciated by the principle and the teachers of Udawalwa school and last week they requested us to complete the full syllabus of Bio Diversity Conservation for the Advanced Level students. We explained that we are not qualified teachers for students to cover the syllabus but we can create awareness. We were glad that the teachers and the principle understood it but asked us to follow our methods of teaching then it would be easy for them to direct the students to learn the lessons of Bio-Diversity Conservation. Therefore we faced the challenge and successfully completed the lessons during a full day workshop plus with some more lectures separately. Only 12 biology students were there at Udawalawa school and 4 teachers along with them participated in the work shop conducted at our field office premises. It included games, Power Point presentations, discussions, an exhibition with panels, and video clips.

The evaluation forms revealed that we were successful in the mission and some children have commented that they want to join us and study biodiversity in future to protect mother earth which would be a very positive approach for our dream in creating future conservationists at village level. All this was thanks to UNDP/GEF small grant programme and WFN for funding us to have this project on the ground. This is another example that creating consciousness will help to preserve vanishing biodiversity from earth.

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