Empowering the Next Generation: Limbe Wildlife Centre Hosts Annual Conservation Education Graduation Ceremony

On the 22nd of March 2024, the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) hosted its annual Graduation Ceremony for all the children who had taken part in the 2024 Conservation Education Outreach Programme across the 14 participating schools in Limbe, Batoke, and Bakingili.

The LWC education team organised for 5 buses to collect students directly from their schools and bring them to the Limbe Botanical Gardens (LBG), where the graduation event would be held in the Jungle Village. This year, from the 14 schools, our 3 educators reached 37 classes and a total of 1,850 children – although we anticipate that the impact of our educational outreach is much further than this, as many children also bring friends and family with them to the graduation ceremony.

The theme of this year’s graduation ceremony was zoonotic diseases. Throughout the year, a major focus of our educational outreach has been to protect yourself and your community by avoiding bushmeat and preventing the spread of zoonoses. Outbreaks of zoonotic diseases are on the rise in Cameroon (and globally), so by discouraging the consumption of bushmeat we hope to protect the community and endangered wildlife. Using the One Health approach, we have sensitised the school children about the importance of protecting wildlife and the environment to safeguard our own health and our future. The Reformation Theatre Group came to perform a new and improved theatre play to deliver our message to the children in a fun and engaging way.

The ceremony was a great success, with children expressing their enthusiasm for wildlife and excited to share the knowledge they had gained. By educating young people, we aim to inspire a new generation of passionate wildlife lovers and conservationists. It is through lasting behavioural change towards wildlife and the environment that we hope to secure a better future for Cameroon’s wildlife.

We thank the Programme for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in the South West (PSMNR-SW), Go Ape Foundation, African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation (AMMCO), ProWildlife – our partners from the Zoonoses Education Campaign (ZEC), Bioviva Editions Foundation, and Givskud Zoo for making this event and the LWC educational outreach programme possible.

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