Graduating from AoC’s 2012 Education Programs

From Olivier

We celebrate during our annual End-of-the-Year Parents as Partners Open House at Nyange school. Innocent calls a child by his/her name and that student responds by saying, “Good morning, My name is …… I am an Art of Conservation graduate!” Graduates then receive their decorated envelopes that contain the works that he/she did throughout the year. It is extremely pleasant.

Valerie gives the graduates their envelopes.

Students are thrilled to look again at their work and proudly show them to their parents or guardians. Our guests take this opportunity to see how children gradually developed from the beginning and how amazing they are now with their inspirational works containing good messages for the entire world. Children are calling the community to contribute in protecting Volcanoes National Park where mountain gorilla and a diversity of other animals live.

Guests include Nyange schools headmaster, a Rwanda Environment Management Authority representative, Musanze District’s Joint Action Development Forum’s president, Nyange school’s deputy principal, and more.

To aim is not enough, you must hit! Use your mind; use your eyes and your body. Get all the education you can, but then, by nature, do something. Don’t just stand there, make something happen around you. The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have learned and practiced is yours forever. AoC students do it because they learned. They are acting out what they learned. They are now teachers, delivering our messages to a big crowd of people: their fathers, mothers, cousins, neighbors and local leaders. All these people get to know some of the threats to mountain gorillas and how they are treated. No more poachers in the mountain gorilla habitat! AoC students vow to expose even those who will be in the underground because they now know the importance of a healthy ecosystem.

Children perform as Gorilla Doctors – one child is a mountain gorilla doctor teaching children how to treat the critically endangered animal. So amazing! May be he will become a veterinarian.

This year’s Parents as Partners Open House is really a good opportunity for our students to celebrate and start their roles as conservation ambassadors. In acting out the AoC Staying Healthy messages, students talk about how one can get sick by letting germs enter their bodies through eyes, mouth, ears and nose. Our children, however, are committed to staying healthy and to not spreading germs at all! They will cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze, they will wash their hands, and they will try to eat a healthy diet.

A drama depicting how to stay healthy.

How can you know that something is missing if you’ve never met it or seen it? Please come and celebrate our next year’s Parents as Partners Open House at the foot of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

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