The Knyphausen Foundation and EcoTraining Train the Trainer Programme in Botswana

An initiative aimed at educators from rural communities who become trainers; integrating environmental education as part of their syllabus offered to local community primary schools.

The Train the Trainer programme was founded with the ardent belief that an alliance with local community volunteer educators would advocate the need to address the importance of environmental preservation. EcoTraining Guides and Guardians and the Knyphausen Foundation joined forces to produce their first ever Train the Trainer Programme.

Practical, hands-on learning

EcoTraining, operating for 24 years, is the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. Having shaped the syllabus for the Train the Trainer programme, EcoTraining seeks to equip local volunteer educators with the skills necessary to effect positive learning experiences between the trainer and student.

Key objectives of the programme include:

  • Raising awareness and a call to action around the importance of nature and the environment.
  • Creating partnership opportunities between volunteer educators and local community schools to encourage the integration of environmental education.
  • Facilitating the exchange of knowledge and skills to upscale ‘Train the Trainer’ learner experience.
  • Measuring the impact of the ‘Train the Trainer’ programme on local communities.

The charitable Knyphausen Foundation for Sustainability, Conservation and Education was established in November 2015 by Theda Gräfin Knyphausen. The aim of this foundation is to sensitise and inspire children and young adults to take responsibility for themselves and their environment. Theda says, “It was, therefore, a naturally shared ideology to create a course that trains educators and facilitators that they could share their love and respect for nature with children. We want to help local communities here in Botswana to appreciate and protect the environment, bring about a long-term change in the thoughts and behaviour of children and young adults through education and training.”

Watch the video of the Train the Trainer programme.

Together with the local partner organization Future Explorer Youth Society (FEYS), the foundation has also established a Junior Ranger programme for children and young adults. On the 1st of September 2017, one hundred and five Junior Rangers from nine community schools in Maun have been certified and since then they are taught on a regular base about specific environmental topics directly out in nature as well as in the classroom by the eight FEYS trainers.