Wildlife Field Trips to the National Park
Students see elephants for the first time in their lives during their safari boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
A KWCAO wildlife educator gives tree seedlings to a student at the end of the field trip. The students plant the seedlings in their communities and as the trees grow, they become a symbol of their commitment to conservation.
Sowing the Seeds of Conservation
Connecting Children to Nature through Field Trips to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The wellbeing of the people, wildlife, and environment of Uganda all depend on a culture that values biodiversity and embraces conservation. Yet every year, thousands of endangered animals are poached illegally for meat, income, or retaliation for crop destruction because bonding with nature is not a fundamental aspect of childhood in Uganda. Due to extreme poverty and the resulting human-wildlife conflicts, the first and often only information children receive about wildlife is negative or utilitarian. The KWCAO Field Trip Project replaces these negative perceptions with positive experiences and knowledge by connecting students with the stunningly diverse wildlife living in the nearby national park. Each trip brings 64 children and 8 teachers to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a day of experiential learning where they engage in presentations about biodiversity and conservation, visit a wildlife museum, go on a game drive, and perhaps most memorably, take a boat safari ride on the Kazinga Channel. An astounding variety of animals can be seen from the boat, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and the most diverse bird population in the world.
Before returning home, students excitedly receive a certificate of completion and tree seedlings to sow as a symbol of conservation and to combat deforestation. The act of seeing the animals first-hand creates student ambassadors who feel a genuine connection to nature, and a responsibility to sustain and care for it. Furthermore, the impact of the experience extends far beyond the scope of the trip as the students excitedly share their newfound enthusiasm with classmates, friends and family members.
Students on a field trip take a pledge to protect wildlife.