E4C - The playgroup in the middle of the lions project area

The NG 32 playgroup has a very special significance: it is located in the middle of the project area “SAVE-Lions – Living with Lions”, i.e. in the region where a particularly large number of lions live – and has unfortunately also been killed in the past.

On the one hand, the survival of the village communities in the project area depends on natural resources, especially the great abundance of wildlife. On the other hand, there is not yet aware of this among all people. The majority of the people living there have not yet recognized the ecological value so most of them do not yet participate in the protection and preservation of the ecosystem. There is hardly any wildlife education in Botswana’s schools, and children are not taught elsewhere about the value of wildlife in the ecosystem.

Thus, in the NG32 playgroup in the “SAVE Lions” project area, conservation and environmental education play a very central role. The goal is to promote species protection already through early childhood education.

In the playgroup, children as young as 3-6 years old learn about the behavior of lions and other wild animals. The program, which runs under Education for Conservation, offers children the opportunity to participate in educational activities and games as part of the curriculum. Game drives are organized to the wildlife sanctuaries, and SAVE Lions staff tell the children stories and show them photos and films.

The SAVE playgroups not only make a positive contribution to the children. They will grow up with greater sensitivity to nature conservation and – so we hope – be more mindful of nature and the environment in the future and stop the extinction of species. Quite often, however, the new awareness also creates further waves: The children infect their parents with their enthusiasm and their newly acquired knowledge, which can lead to a change in their thinking in the long term.

The parents, in turn, know that their children are well cared for in the playgroups and can pursue gainful employment during this time, thus securing the livelihood of the entire family.

In the long term, therefore, the living conditions of parents, their children, and, as a consequence, wildlife will improve.

Species Conservation Together