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Projects in Sri Lanka

School Awareness Program a Success

Chris Rico

The Biodiversity Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT) in Sri Lanka is a non-profit NGO that focuses on studying elephants and teaching school children about human-elephant conflict (HEC).  AES has been funding their school programs for a few years now and we are happy to hear from Mr. Jayantha Jayewardene that their 2016 curriculum was a success.  45 schools participated in their School Awareness Programs over 6 districts throughout the island.  An average of 151 pupils and 9 teachers were in attendance.  The programs are specifically located in rural areas so that children can be made aware of the difficulties surrounding HEC and how they can help their communities mitigate the issues of coexisting with elephants.  Elephant biology, ecology, and religious symbolism are all taught in the half day course at each school.  Being able to empower the next generation with knowledge and respect for elephants will certainly make sure that their survival in the limited space within Sri Lanka is guaranteed.  We at AES look forward to our continued work with Mr. Jayewardene and the BECT.