Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP)
The Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) is an exciting initiative of GCF in Namibia. KEEP is a field-based environmental education programme that allows young people to reconnect with nature. KEEP seeks to build a culture of environmental awareness, social responsibility and action in Namibia. Additionally, it can equip Africa’s future leaders, and indeed all Namibians, with the skills to live more sustainably and ultimately to improve their living conditions. KEEP aims to inspire young people to care for their environment by helping them better understand the impacts their lifestyle has on the fragile ecosystems around them.
Throughout KEEP, giraffe serve as a model specimen to illustrate the general concept of adaptation to our immediate environment, i.e. how we can adapt to live more sustainable and energy efficient. The programme is closely linked to the Namibian national school curriculum, and students and teachers engage with topics from their syllabus and apply concepts that are already familiar from the classroom, while spending a day in the bush in a fun, interactive and hands-on experience. KEEP gets them out of the classroom and back into nature!
“In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum)
KEEP is targeting primary (grade 3-4) school students in and around Namibia’s capital Windhoek, in particular from disadvantaged and under-resources schools. It is anticipated that over time, KEEP could grow its geographical reach within Namibia as well as to expand into an applied science based high school programme (grade 8-9), which will focus on real-life giraffe conservation research.
KEEP has been developed by GCF to overcome a perceived disconnect of urban Namibian youth from nature. The Khomas Region has the fastest growing population in Namibia with 5% living below the poverty line and relying on the use of natural resources for shelter, fuel, warmth and clean drinking water. However, there is a surprising little understanding of how human actions affect their environment and vice versa. GCF is determined to make a difference and has started providing a much needed service to Namibians: a targeted local environmental education opportunity for school children in Namibia’s capital in order to benefit Namibians, their wildlife and ultimately giraffe conservation in Africa.