In Madagascar, education on environmental issues is unfortunately not part of the curriculum, and textbooks that don’t cover the core subjects are relatively rare and expensive. This is especially true for the rural regions in the west of the island and thus also for our project area in Menabe. For some months now, we have been visiting various local schools with boxes full of books, using them to hold workshops on environmental topics in the classes. Here, the children learn e.g. about the causes of nature destruction in habitats on land and in the sea and can further inform themselves in reading sessions with our modern educational material.
For the children, these events are often their only chance to find out about environmental protection issues and one of the few opportunities other than hunting to learn about the special wildlife of their homeland. Through the appreciated change in the class schedule, they also learn how threatened the unique nature on their doorstep actually is and how important it is also for their own future to protect it. By developing an awareness of the consequences of forest destruction such as climate change and water shortage in our everyday lives, the pupils can actively campaign as local ambassadors against environmentally harmful behaviour in their daily interactions.
So far, our team has visited 4 schools with this project, where about 350 pupils were excited to learn more about environmental issues through this personal exchange. This year, we will visit more schools in Menabe with the mobile environmental library to teach even more children about protecting their local nature.
Most of the books for the mobile library were provided by the Lemur Conservation Foundation. We are of course very happy about this great support, together with the children of the Menabe region!