The Chumbe project aims to build environmental awareness in Zanzibar, and one of the most important parts of our work is to educate school children, teachers, fishers, community groups, and government officials through sponsored field excursions to the island. Since 1996, Chumbe Island has continuously operated a successful Environmental Education (EE) program, and in June 2019, we surpassed 10,000 participants!
This milestone is especially meaningful to the Chumbe Team, as our EE program is fully funded by Chumbe Island day and overnight guests. As a fully self-sustaining marine protected area (MPA), all of our revenue is generated by eco-tourism, and not by external donors or funding. This occasion would not be possible without the support of our guests.
About Chumbe Field Excursions for School Children
School education in Zanzibar, as elsewhere in the region, is based on rote learning of a highly academic syllabus that has little relationship with the surrounding world. Extra-curricular activities, such as field excursions, are rarely organized and very few children have a chance to visit their surrounding ecosystems, especially the coral reef. This is also partly due to the fact that school children, and particularly girls, normally do not learn how to swim or snorkel.
Our one day field excursions to Chumbe Island enable students of all ages to learn about nature within the appropriate environment, while at the same time accompanying teachers get insights in how to teach practical field based environmental education. This is a rather novel and innovative approach as teachers have not been trained for linking classroom teaching to field excursions in this country. Experience shows that the participating children, which are guided by environmental educators on the coral reef and along nature walks, benefit greatly from the insight they gain while exploring these habitats. Additional lectures in marine biology, forest ecology and environmental protection enhance the practical experience.
Interactive pre-visits in schools, that are held up to one month before the actual field excursion, give the students a brief overview about the environmental issues that are further discussed on the island, and allow our EE team to get to know the students and find out more about their interests, so that the activities can be planned accordingly.
Ulli Kloiber, Conservation and Education Manager: ulli(at)chumbeisland(dot)com