Building our future Conservation Champions!
Within the environmental sector it is understood that people who participated in outdoor nature activities as children are more likely to have pro-environment behaviours and attitudes as an adult. Since the inception of Nature Connect in 2001 the primary aim has been to provide opportunities for children to experience the outdoors and in the process to develop a curiosity and interest for the natural environment.
Over the years our scope has widened to focus on further development of individuals who are passionate about nature, hence offering support to schools to assist their conscious journey through our Sustainable Schools Programme. Our vision for a broader, deeper focus also gave rise to our Conservation Leadership Project, which identifies youth who are passionate about nature and nurtures them into leaders that can affect change in their homes, among peers, in their communities and ultimately for the benefit of our natural heritage.
Our focus on developing behavioural change is strengthened through the educator’s own personal and professional journey towards sustainable practices. Their engagement and learning is passed on through practice and implementation at their schools. Educators firmly rooted in sustainable practices are better able to engage their learners and lead whole-school involvement.
We offer schools a diversity of immersive nature experiences and support them in developing sustainable practices at school. Hands-on activities of this nature are often seen as the first step in reconnecting with the natural environment. To strengthen this association we run environmental programmes in the schools.
Our Programmes Include:
“Time in nature strengthens children’s self-confidence and arouses their senses – their awareness of the world and all that moves in it.”
Conservation Leadership Project
The Conservation Leadership Project was born out of a desire to identify in-school youth who are passionate about the natural environment and who would like to play a role in affecting change in their homes and communities. The objective is to involve the children in environmental activities and to take them on outings to conservation areas within South Africa over the last 7 years of their schooling, in so doing broadening their views and understanding of conservation, highlighting potential careers in the environmental sector, and helping them to nurture their passion.
Sustainable Schools Programme
In support of the Western Cape Education Department’s Greening initiative, Nature Connect’s Sustainable Schools Programme aims to improve environmental learning, develop young people’s participation, and for the learners and educators to contribute positively to their school, community and the environment. We provide multiple platforms for young people to explore nature and identify their role in environmental protection, coming together to actively address environmental issues. Lastly, to improve the quality of school settings, thus to enhance learning, enjoyment and positive behaviours. Through teacher training workshops we build a community of learning and shared experiences, such that we have a bottom-up, ground swell of environmental activism.