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  • Writer's pictureDiana Littlejohns

Conservation Art with eleCREW

In September of 2020, during the pandemic, I teamed up with eleCREW in Zimbabwe - @elephant.c.r.e.w - to pilot a Conservation Art programme online for young children in Victoria Falls. The programme was so well received that I've been running them regularly ever since with increasing numbers of kids from three to ten years old joining each time.

Last week we covered deforestation and its effect on biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest which the children loved, and I look forward to our Saturday Conservation Art workshops as the kids are so keen to learn about essential topics such as endangered species in Africa and the wider world, along with climate change and plastic pollution to name but a few.

CEO of eleCREW, Jake Rendle-Worthington, told me how a parent had said that it was ‘the highlight of their child’s week, seeing Diana through an internet video and getting to colour in a topic relevant sketches whilst learning keywords,’ along with understanding ways we can help conserve our planet better now and in the future.

The wonderful staff at eleCREW; Gerald, Monica, and Siobhan, often collect children from the nearby Victoria Falls area to come and enjoy an online session with me – Teaching Children Conservation Through Art. The guys out there are always on hand for technical support (needed with internet connections!) and are great at relaying - sometimes - quite complicated info to children in their local dialects.

I design each workshop and plan my programmes along with nature's seasons and yearly calendar. I also keep well informed on the status of critical environmental concerns and endangered species which I then weave into my workshops. For example, I will often write Zimbabwe-specific Conservation Art workshops for my young friends at eleCREW to help localise their understandings of conservation.

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