Our Education Program
At Sanaga-Yong our critical rescue work is only one key element of our commitment to protecting chimpanzees, gorillas and other endangered wildlife from extinction. We work diligently to safeguard habitat, provide education and raise awareness on an international level.
Within Cameroon, we recognize that the youth are critical to the survival of future generations of wildlife, and we are engaging with school children in innovative ways. We have developed a children’s book, “Je Protégé Les Chimpanzés” (I Protect the Chimpanzees) and designed a fun five-day classroom program using the book as a centerpiece.
Students joyously welcoming Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue’s Education Coordinator, Alfred Bongadu.
Children in our part of rural Africa typically have no exposure to conservation values or to programs that encourage compassionate treatment of animals. In contrast to the typically strict, punitive system of teaching academic subjects, our uniquely fun classroom program gently encourages thought and participation of the students, who are delightfully joyful and enthusiastic about their involvement.
The children are left with a sense of pride about the unique biodiversity of Cameroon’s beautiful forests, an understanding of chimpanzees as kindred beings who deserve respect and protection, and a general appreciation of their responsibility as future environmental stewards.
You Too Can Help
The education program includes reading, discussion and comprehension exercises, interactive art and pre- and post-program surveys. At the end of the lessons the children are given their copy of “Je Protégé Les Chimpanzés” and are encouraged to share what they have learned with their family members.
The Education Program reaches an average of 2000 students per year and to carry out the five-day curriculum in village schools’ costs $5 per child. The cost includes expenses for the children’s book, art supplies, surveys, the education coordinator salary and his transportation, room and board during the classes.
The evaluation surveys show that children are receiving our messages about compassion and conservation with open hearts and minds. Because they are having so much fun in the program, we believe they will remember it for years to come and that it will have a lasting impact on the way they think about chimpanzees and all the amazing animals on our planet.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela