On the 5th of June Elephants Without Borders Education program hosted an afternoon event to commemorate World Environment day (WED). This year’s theme was focused on “air pollution” and thus, this event focused on the importance of trees, as the “lungs of our environment.” The day was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Basic Education Chobe Regional Operations and the Department of Wildlife & National parks with special invited guests from the Department of Forestry and Range resources. It was held at a perfect venue along the Chobe River, surrounded by big green trees.
To celebrate the day in attendance were students and accompanying teachers from Kasane primary, Lesoma primary, Chobe Junior School, the local Scout group, Kazungula primary, Plateau primary, Chobe Brigade, and youth from Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC.)
After a picnic lunch, a brief presentation about the importance of Trees to the environment was given by the Department of Forestry and Range resources. After the presentation, the students formed three groups to participate in different learning and fun stations. Activities included a lesson about the cycle of nutrients and air, the harmful effects of fire to the entire system, the importance /role of elephants to the environment as tree landscapers and seed dispensers (second best after birds!) Added to the lesson was a 5 min video “How Trees Clean the Air.” Everyone participated in songs about trees and breathing exercises demonstrating how clean air is beneficial to one’s own health and wellbeing. And, teams competed at “elephant races”. The students had a lot of fun at this competitive game, as everyone cheered on their teammates and adrenalin was high.
The last big event was a group tree-planting exercise. Each student planted indigenous seeds in recycled milk powder tins that came from EWB’s orphaned elephants use. The students filled their tins with elephant dung nutrient enriched soil (also compliments of the orphaned elephants,) which will help the seedlings grow. Each student labelled their tins with their names, the name of the seeds they planted and their school/ institution.
It was another successful EWB fun learning activity day! In a few months, EWB will be hosting a second event where the students will transplant their trees. (see EWB’s Foster a Forest project!) Hopefully, they will visit, care for and appreciate their own trees for years to come. Learn more about our Environmental Education Program!