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Africa

Earth Day in Arusha


Earth Day Video

See the Earth Day celebration in action with this video from Arusha.

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By Alphonce Mallya

In consultation with the local Olasiti Primary School, I invited 50 pupils to visit our Arusha office and join our Picnic for the Planet.

We designed conservation-awareness quizzes and games to play with the kids. During the Life Web Game, for example, each pupil played a different wild animal, plant or element like sun or rain. The pupil representing grass held a colored line, and then we asked, “What animal eats grass?” They looked around and chose a zebra. Then we stretched the line for the “zebra” to hold. The next line went to a “lion,” and eventually the kids had formed a food web.

We asked the pupil representing grass to drop the line, and then we said, “Since the grass is dead, what will happen?” They looked around and said, “Zebra will die of hunger!” We asked who else would die of hunger, and they pointed to the lion, then to the rest of the plants and animals.

I explained to the kids that every link in the food chain has great significance in the lives of the others, so we can’t destroy any natural resources without also affecting human beings. They all laughed to show they had gotten the point.

We also took time to relax and enjoy a picnic in the garden, but also invited the pupils to show us what games they could design and play. They did a great job creating new games and songs. We re-grouped to plant a tree, and then each pupil received an ebony tree seedling to take back to school and plant.

We all had a super-fun Earth Day in Arusha.

Alphonce Mallya works on outreach and operations for the Conservancy in Arusha, Tanzania.

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