Helping Local Conservationists

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Olivia and I are at the University of Seychelles delivering two days of (what we hope is interesting) training to our ZSL EDGE Fellows and a range of staff working for government bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). 

My training aims to support these conservation staff to develop exciting educational opportunities to engage the public with their work.  I am covering the theory of how people learn, how to target different audiences, how to write educational activity and evaluate it, in addition to understanding campaigns that aim to change people’s behaviour around an issue, such as encouraging people to reduce waste or make informed choices about what they purchases.

Rachel standing at the front of the room, teaching a session
Teaching a session

The first day goes brilliantly and I end up speaking to thirty people from fourteen different organisations.  They seem to enjoy the chance to discuss each other’s different project work and ideas for how they want to develop educational activity.  There are some very passionate people in the room who are committed to helping people build knowledge, understanding and pride about endemic species in the Seychelles. 

I'm tired at the end of the day though as the ‘air conditioning’ really wasn’t what I would call air conditioning!  More a fan that pushed warm damp air around the room!

Olivia and some of the students
Olivia and some of the students

Olivia’s training the following day teaches project management and different tools to use in planning and undertaking conservation work.  These tools include something called a ‘Survival Blueprint’ which helps people plan the survival of a species!  Fascinating stuff!

We're both really happy with the evaluation from the training too.  100% of respondents in my session felt they could apply the information I presented in their own work.  63% also stated that the training was ‘above’ or’ far above’ their expectations. 

91% of respondents in Olivia’s training felt the content was relevant to their work and that the Survival Blueprint was the highlight of her training.  A relief to know they felt it was worthwhile.

Students partake in the training
A successful couple of days!

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