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A wedding gift for nature and education


Tsanakona playgroup opened

It really was a very special motto that Linda Müller-Dürschmidt and Steve Müller had chosen for their wedding: Instead of gifts, the bride and groom wanted donations to build a new SAVE Environment playgroup in Botswana.

The idea was immediately put into practice, and on February 1, the opening ceremony of the new playgroup in Tsanakona village took place.

What sounds so simple was connected with many individual work steps: The community had to be convinced of the project, because the backing of the local population is enormously important for success. A classroom was built, teachers were trained and hired, and finally the children had to be enthused about environmental education.

This cannot be taken for granted in the village of Tsanokana. The two ethnic groups living there are the San and the Mbukushu, both indigenous peoples who suffer from oppression. They are among the most endangered tribes in Botswana. Their settlement is located in an area about ten kilometers from Maun, where people very often come into contact with wild animals. It is not uncommon for elephants to destroy crops, leading to numerous conflicts.

So how can you convince people to treat wildlife with appreciation and respect when wildlife causes so much trouble?

The key, as for all SAVE playgroups, is early environmental education. To promote coexistence between humans, livestock and wildlife, the children in the Tsanokana playgroup should also learn from an early age how to live peacefully with these animals. The children receive basic knowledge about biodiversity in Botswana and solutions for conflict-free coexistence as part of SAVE’s Early Childhood Development Curriculum environmental education program.

The lessons are supported by the Bush Safari organizer Delta Rain, who together with SAVE share the conviction that education at the grassroots level is the most important key to conservation. And the “Linda and Steve Playgroup” in Tsanakona will also make a decisive contribution to this.