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PRESS RELEASE: Creating Tanzania’s young eco champions

September 18, 2013:

A confirmation class in Tanzania prepare to plant trees to help the local environment.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, the Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda, will be the official guest at a two-day ARC workshop to discuss how to integrate faith values into teaching on the environment in Tanzanian schools.

The workshop, which begins tomorrow in Dar es Salaam, brings together key faith leaders as well as representatives of Tanzania’s ministries of education and the environment, and secular partners. The aim is to inspire the eco champions of the future by linking action to protect the environment to the faith values and beliefs held by young Tanzanians about caring for creation.

The workshop has been organised by ARC, the Jane Goodall Institute, Tanzania, and the Kenya Organisation of Environmental Education (KOEE), with funding from USAID via the African Biodiversity Conservation Group.

Delegates will hear case studies and experience of the ground-breaking teacher’s toolkit developed by ARC and KOEE for Christian, Muslim and Hindu primary schools as well as the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots programme, which works with young Muslims in Tanzania’s coastal communities.

The Faith-based Education for Sustainable Development Teacher’s Toolkit, launched by ARC and KOEE in Kenya in July 2013, integrates faith values about caring for creation with teaching on the environment in primary schools.

The toolkit looks at seven environmental themes in detail – water, health (sanitation and hygiene), agriculture, waste, energy, biodiversity and climate change. Within each theme specific faith teachings have been highlighted as well as information and classroom activities that link into the Kenyan curriculum.

The toolkit also includes sections on good practice teaching methods, such as drama, games or role play, as well as how to become an eco-school, set up small micro projects and school case studies.

This is the first time such a toolkit has been produced and although it has been developed for Kenya, the aim is to make it available to other countries in Africa to adapt for their own use.

The Tanzanian workshop is the first step in that process, says Mary Bellekom, ARC’s Africa education programme manager. “As well as learning about the work already being done in Tanzania, we are here to share what we’ve done in Kenya in the hope of inspiring Tanzanian faith groups, teachers and education officials to take it up and adapt it for their purposes. Next year we will take the toolkit to Uganda.”

The workshop will also look at Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots programme which encourages young people to make positive change happen – for communities, for animals and for the environment.

It provides a network of resources to engage youth with their local ecosystem through the development of meaningful service campaigns. Roots and Shoots has been successful among Muslim schools in Tanzania’s coastal communities and the aim is to expand it to the rest of the country.


The Kenya Organisation of Environmental Education (KOEE) was founded in 1997 as a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation and is a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) International.

The Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania inspires action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encourages people to help make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we share.

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