The Africa Foundation Environmental Education Programme is known as ‘ECHO’ for the resonance it has across people’s lives. Environmental Education is key to engaging communities in the issues and debates around their everyday choices and the impact that they have for the environment and conservation.
Most often we find that the communities living closest to some of the world’s most renowned conservation areas, know the least about them and their value. ECHO aims to change that by exposing community members, young and old, to the conservation land and seascapes that they are in fact, the custodians of, and working with communities to ensure that they feel the benefit of protecting the environment around them.
In our partner communities in South Africa, the ECHO programme has become embedded into the school curriculum for Grade R to Grade 9 scholars (through primary and into early secondary school). Our ECHO school facilitators support the delivery of environmental education lessons and practical workshops in schools as well as the development of climate friendly school vegetable gardens.
The school based education is enhanced by experiential field trips into the local conservation areas. These trips are enabled through Africa Foundation’s partnership with andBeyond, the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and Pfunanani Trust, and Southern African Wildlife Trust. The trips are led by qualified guides, who provide students with a memorable and deep-learning experience, with touchpoints to their classroom activities.