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Projects in Sri Lanka

School Awareness Program Update

Vanessa Gagne

Do you ever wonder if your donation actually makes a difference for elephants?
The answer to that question is very simple, YES!

In 2015, AES was able to donate $4000 to the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust’s Schools Awareness Program. This program helps educate children in 150 schools per year on the urgent need to conserve Sri Lanka’s wild elephant population. The following is a portion of a report from Jayantha Jayewardene, Managing Trustee of BECT.

Report on Schools Awareness Program 2015

The program has been designed with a view to giving students a better idea of the habits, ecology, social behavior, and basic biology of elephants, as well as presenting ways to minimize human-elephant conflicts and damage.

Progress of Program

In 2015 we carried out Schools Awareness Programs in 40 schools on behalf of the Asian Elephant Support.  These schools were from six (6) districts around the island. On an average there were 143 children and 7 teachers present at each of these programs. The principals of these schools have recorded their appreciation of our programs in a Record Book, which we maintain. A map showing the districts where the programs were carried out is at the end of this report.

The cost of carrying out this program per school is $ 100. This includes fees for lecturers, transport, accommodation, food and books for the school library. The program was carried out in 40 schools on behalf of Asian Elephant Support, whose grant was $ 4,000.

With the knowledge that is imparted to the children, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of the problem of human-elephant conflicts and know in greater detail about the natural and socio-cultural history of the elephants. This will reduce the negative attitude towards the elephant by the local communities, especially among the younger generations so that they can then be persuaded to take a more positive role in the conservation of elephants in the future.