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Conserving biodiversity through creative learning and one-health awareness
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Tag Archives: Rwanda
Hello Greenwood Elementary School students in Des Moines, Iowa USA.
We received a note from your teacher that you are having fun learning about Rwandan Fifth Graders during your Computer Lab class. Perhaps someday you will visit Rwanda and meet the people and trek in Volcanoes National Park to see the mountain gorillas. Keep up with your great work at school and enjoy the winter holidays! See you back here at Art for Gorillas! Here are a few photographs for you of the endangered mountain gorillas. Aren’t they beautiful?
Thank you, Mary, for encouraging your kids to explore the world around them!
A comment from Mary, teacher at Greenwood’s Computer Lab:
Yesterday, 25 U.S. Fifth Graders spent their Computer Lab class reading your blogs and studying the accompanying photographs. We listened to the beautiful song, “Sow a Little Kindness”, and watched children their age plant trees and celebrate their hard work. They asked question after question about the Rwandan children, their lives, their homes, and their schooldays. I was moved by the complete focus and interest these 25 students expressed. We’ll visit you again!!
Valerie, Eric, and I grab our shovels and hoes and set out on Rwanda’s closing day of National Tree Planting Week. A few days earlier our students and the AoC team planted seedlings to our already established ‘mini-forest’ – adding more beautiful indigenous species along with agroforestry types to the schoolyard. Please click here for earlier post.
Police men and women help plant calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) and alnus (Alnus glutinosa) seedlings. Community work duty from the local prisoners included digging holes for the seedlings so the work was extremely easy. We throw the shovels and hoes back in the truck – don’t need them.
Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwanda’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, asks local authorities to help in the tree planting campaign on government and private land.
The public is told that the trees are also a potential source of income through charcoal burning and timber production.
Ready to go home,Valerie, Eric, and Jean Pierre Ndagijimana, an environmental officer in Musanze District – the district in which AoC works – pose for a photo. We also discuss ways in which we can foster a stronger partnership and invite Jean Pierre to meet our students during next year’s conservation education classes.
Forest Buffaloes are a commonly seen wild animal for the kids we work with in Kinigi – a place bordering the national forest. In the wee hours of the morning, the buffaloes leave the protected area of Volcanoes National Park to graze in the community land. So it may be that our students don’t fully embrace these animals, but it is also important for us to examine their own unique part of the ecosystem.
Here’s a video of our classroom lesson surrounding the forest buffalo with Eric teaching in Kinyarwanda and Innocent’s English translation.
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Forest Buffalo Video.
According to Rwanda’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, almost 20 million trees – both forest species and agroforest species – will be planted this week throughout the country. This morning, AoC’s Eric, Innocent, Valerie, and I loaded the truck with seedlings from the AoC garden and headed to Kinigi to meet our students and plant trees.
Earlier this year, our students planted seedlings outside of their school. Please view earlier post.
Minister Kamanzi is at Gishwati Forest today where efforts are being made to recover lost forest due to human encroachment, deforestation and small-scale farming.
Rwanda will be attending the Copenhagen Summit for Climate Change in December.
More from Mr. Kamanzi at AllAfrica.com.
Wearing a mask to help prevent disease transmission, Dr. Jean Felix has darted his pretend patient with anesthesia. From here the gorilla will be treated or a snare will be removed. Usually a reversal is administered and the patient awakens quickly after a procedure.
Pretending mops and brooms are trees and bamboo, the students act out a possible scene in the forest while the vets attempt to help the endangered mountain gorillas.
Thank you Drs. Magdalena, Jan, and Jean Felix for sharing with our young Rwandan students what you do to help the mountain gorillas. Your expertise and dedication is remarkable.
Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project’s Rwanda-based vets take time out of their busy schedule to visit our students and shed more light on HOW and WHY they treat the endangered mountain gorillas. Dr. Jan Ramer, MGVP Regional Veterinary Manager, is here today with AoC’s Rushubi Primary School students. Like Dr. Magdalena who visited a different set of kids previously, these gorilla vets encourage our young students to work very hard in school so that perhaps they can be vets one day. Let’s hope!!!
After a very exciting and informative talk with the kids, Dr. Jan settles in for computer work while the students paint their papier mache mountain gorillas. What a great class! Thanks Dr. Jan for your visit. Please come back next year with a new group of aspiring naturalists and vets.
MGVP’s Dr. Jean Felix next!
Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project’s Rwanda-based vets take time out of their busy schedule to visit our students and shed more light on HOW and WHY they treat the endangered mountain gorillas. Dr. Magdalena, an expert on wild animal health care, talks with the kids and lets the kids practice with some of the tools she uses to treat gorillas in the nearby forest.
AoC’s Innocent and Eric stand by to translate and help Dr. Magdalena as she opens up her medical kit which includes all necessary equipment needed for treating sick or injured gorillas in Volcanoes National Park – quite a bit of equipment to be carrying up the steep volcanoes.
Innocent pretends to be a tree as Dr. Magdalena and a student prepare to shoot the dart gun containing the prepared syringe out the classroom door. We all made sure no one would be walking by! Kids screech with excitement with the sound of the dart gun and the launching of the syringe. They also get a much better idea of how the Gorilla Docs work in the forest!
Dr. Jan is next to enlighten the kids. Please tune in next time.
AoC’s Parents as Partners Open House at Rushubi Primary School.
All photos courtesy of Molly Feltner.
A future student? We are hopeful that this young child’s brother or sister–who was an AoC student, now a ‘graduate’–is handing down lessons to her such as the basic habits of personal hygiene, respect for oneself and others, and a sense of wonderment about the world they live in.
Gifts were given to students who received top marks on the final exam, who had perfect class attendance, and for putting forth exemplary effort throughout the school year. The woman pictured above, on the far right, stands proud after her daughter receives an award in all three categories.
The teamwork of Eric, Innocent, Molly, Valerie, Phocas, Amahoro Tours driver Emmanuel and assistant Hassan, teachers, and students was remarkable. We simply can’t do what we’ve been trying to do if not for the commitment of this dedicated group of people.
All photos courtesy of Molly Feltner. Manirabizi’s mother was the first parent to show up with her child at Nyabitsinde Primary School for Art of Conservation’s Parents as Partners Open House. We invited her into Manirabizi’s AoC classroom to begin looking through an envelope of the art work he had done throughout the year.
As the classroom fills with students and parents, Innocent directs the group to take the time to look through the children’s work and around the classroom at the Word Wall, maps, artwork. Everyone enjoys snacks and juice.
I nearly melt listening to Manirabizi’s poem he wrote in honor of his ‘other’ parent, me. With concentrated effort, he recited his poem aloud in English with Innocent translating in Kinyarwanda. This is his poem.
Thank You Our Parent
Let us give our thanks
For our parent
Who loves us children.
Dear teacher parent,
You help us all sides!
You give us all skills.
You give us knowledge.
Not only knowledge
But also school materials.
You help us about tourism
From you, I know our country’s capital
From you I am good at art.
Of course, wherever I go,
Never forget you!
My name is Manirabizi. P. 5, Nyabitsinde Primary School. Thank you again.