EDUCATION & AWARENESS
“Once upon a time, there was a Grevy’s zebra called Stripe... One day, Stripe was resting on the ground next to the other foals while their mothers grazed nearby. Stripe was dreaming about the rain which his mum had told him about, but which he still hadn’t seen. He imagined the sound and the smell of it and wished he could feel the cool water on his back. He had noticed that the water hole was much smaller than when he was born. Suddenly, Stripe heard a tinkling noise in the distance. He moved his big round ears towards the sound, trying to find out the cause. The sound was beautiful and in his dreamy state he was sure this must be the sound of rain. Slowly, the sound came closer and closer...”
Stripe’s Story was developed as an educational awareness tool used in primary schools. Here are other ways in which the Trust is developing its educational support to schoolchildren and creating awareness among communities.
The Grevy’s Zebra Trust holds community awareness workshops which are designed for knowledge exchange and discussion on Grevy’s zebra conservation. These workshops provide us with an understanding of how much awareness currently exists, general attitudes towards the species and helps guide us on how to work with that community.
Successful educational outreach requires broad connections at many levels and action by children is one of the most effective ways to initiate change in the behaviour of adults. The Grevy’s Zebra Trust awards secondary school bursaries (scholarships) to promising students from communities that host Grevy’s zebra populations. The pastoral communities of northern Kenya are economically marginalized and this type of support to the education of their children is highly valued; it builds the capacity of the future generation and is a major catalyst in changing attitudes towards wildlife.
One example of this is Michael Edan who is from Nachola, one of our Turkana community partners on the Ambassador Programme. Since we started working with them, Michael’s community has stopped poaching Grevy’s zebra and other wildlife and is actively promoting the protection of the very species they used to hunt. Michael is first in his class at school. As Michael says, the community is now "drinking the milk of the Grevy's zebra rather than eating its meat".
The Grevy’s Zebra Trust is pleased to support the printing of mock exams for children in Standard 8 primary schools. Every year, the schools receive the exams, enabling the students to have a practice run before the real thing and allowing teachers to identify areas which need most attention.
The Grevy’s Zebra Scouts and Ambassadors have been equipped with glove puppets made by Kenana Knitters so that they can liven up their outreach work to fellow community members! Key conservation messages focused on addressing direct threats to Grevy's zebra survival are passed through these local shows.