Environmental Education

Teaching the Importance of Elephants to New Generations

Realizing the Role of Elephants in Our Environment

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The children of Sayaboury get up close and personal with the endangered Asian elephant.

Reading is not common practice amongst the local people of Laos. Illiteracy is high among rural communities, whilst resources remain scarce and when available are often uninspiring. Working in partnership with several non-governmental organizations (Community Learning International, Eco-Sys Action, Des Eléphants et Des Hommes…), the Elephant Conservation Center promotes literacy within schools in rural Sayaboury province in northern Laos. We take an innovative approach to encourage literacy within schoolchildren by distributing Lao language resources and bringing students up close with the endangered Asian Elephant.

During every “Green Season” (monsoon in Laos ranges from June to October), groups of around twenty children form Sayaboury schools come under the project ‘Kids in Conservation’. This program is an initiative to increase awareness of the endangered species -the Asian elephant (elephas maximus)- to the youngest generation in Laos.

Each group spends an entire day at the Center enjoying a whole host of environmental based on fun activities. Our Lao guides explain to them the conservation projects ran at the Center. In the morning, they walk through our forest to visit the elephant nursery to view the mothers and baby elephants. Then, they go to the socialization area to observe from a platform how the elephants interact with each other without any humans in the area.

The program includes the tour of the elephant hospital, conducted by the vet assistant, in order to explain the treatment we provide to the elephants.

However, the highlight of the children’s visit is most definitely the elephant bathing observed by the children after enjoying light refreshments served at the Center’s restaurant.

At the end of their day, we organize a quiz to see what they learned about elephants throughout their day. We are always surprised and proud to see how much and fast they learn about the Center and our projects! As a memento of their day with the elephants, each child receives a Lao language storybook and posters for their school to promote reading as an enjoyable activity in and out of the classroom.

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As we do not have a Paypal account, we have established a partnership with the French NGO “Des Eléphants et Des Hommes” who receives your donations. Then all your donations are transferred in full to the Elephant Conservation Center.