Department of Education and Awareness
The Department of Education and Awareness of the IJG in Senegal is a fundamental pillar in helping the local community to manage natural resources sustainably while improving the conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat.
Applying the philosophy of Dr. Jane Goodall, educating implies understanding the local socio- environmental challenges, proposing alternatives of action and inspiration, raising awareness, empowering the local community and involving the youngest generations in order to achieve the protection of their natural surroundings as well as ensuring long term sustainability.
The Department of Education and Awareness of the IJG provides technical assistance to the Management Committee of the Dindéfélo Community Nature Reserve (RNCD), implementing successful environmental awareness campaigns and events.
Furthermore, with the collaboration of the Olesa de Montserrat City Council as well as other entities, the IJG annually organizes a summer camp for children from the villages of the NRDC. More than 80 participants annually enjoy, during several days, diverse and entertaining educational activities. These summer camps are a great opportunity to engage the children in learning and caring for their natural surroundings, feeling proud of their natural heritage and protecting the Reserve in which they live in. It is also an opportunity for the children to receive educational health content as well as personal hygiene guidelines.
The IJG also implements its environmental education program Roots & Shoots (R&R) in the area, which is currently active in 100 countries and was founded by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1991. Among other R&S activities, adolescents and children of the NRDC community meet weekly at the Biological Station of the IJG and discuss their own ideas and proposals on protecting their natural environment and improving the well-being of their community. The team of the Department of Education and Awareness guides the participants in this important task, advises them, helps them to fulfil their ideas, and also prepares various recreational and educational activities.
Some of the most important activities of the R&S program are battery and waste collection campaigns, cleaning forest areas, plant nursery workshops at the Biological Station of the IJG including the distribution of edible plants, arts and crafts workshops, singing and theatrical plays. In addition, environmental film sessions and debates carried out by the IJG team in the villages have an important impact on the local families and are helping to raise awareness about the natural environment among the population of the Reserve.