Last week we began our annual environmental film shows in Pawaga division; a fascinating, educational and interactive experience both for FORS staff and our learners (schoolchildren, teachers, and villagers). In the schools we showed three films we received from Nature For Kids last year. The films, which are in Kiswahili and feature young children as the heroes of the stories, highlight three themes that are extremely relevant to our work: overgrazing, deforestation, and living with wild animals. The villages of Pawaga are frequented by wildlife, many people are pastoralists, and there has been tremendous deforestation.
To ensure that the shows were interactive, FORS staff held discussions in the class before and after the film shows, using different approaches to strengthen the important themes and messages from these. Alexander used his best Kiswahili to explain that the heroes of the films are just like the young people of America who helped bring change to their communities by convincing friends and parents to vote for Obama! In the films, students bring about change in their local environment, and we encouraged our students to do the same. New teachers from Ilolo Mpya were particularly happy to see the new FORS video and learn about our teacher’s manual.
Every evening we invited all the villagers to gather at a central location, where we began by showing the FORS video, followed by AEFF films like The Great Ruaha River, Running Dry, and Elephants of Tsavo. All told, we showed films to 7 schools and 5 villages in 5 days and nights, thanks to our trusty Land Rover and its battery, which powered all our shows (see pic of Jackson connecting laptop to battery). We really enjoyed showing these films and discussing the important environmental messages with several thousand students and villagers. We’ll have to wait to visit the remaining 6 villages in Pawaga due to the rains.
A video is worth at least a thousand words…enjoy!!
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Hello everybody! I am Magreth Fadhili and I work for Friends of Ruaha Society as Program Manager. I want to share with you one of the most productive activities FORS did this year: environmental film shows. This year we conducted film shows at 23 primary schools and villages in Idodi and Pawaga divisions, and more than 10,000 villagers and 15,000 students attended the shows! It was amazing to see the big group of villagers that gathered to see the evening film shows. Because there is no electricity and few televisions (run by generators) in Idodi and Pawaga, villagers rarely have the opportunity to enjoy cinema and learn about local and global environmental issues through films and shows. So it was a big encouragement for me to conduct these film shows because I felt that our environmental messages were reaching many people.
Villagers really enjoyed the films and said they learned a lot about current environmental issues by watching the films. After showing The Great Ruaha River, one villager from Tungamalenga said: “I didn’t know why the Ruaha River dries up every year and I didn’t understand how important the river is for people and wildlife. But now I realize why water scarcity and temperature increases in our areas are damaging for both people and wildlife alike.”
I want to thank one of our fellow WildlifeDirect bloggers, Tanya Trevor Saunders from the African Environmental Film Foundation (AEFF), because many of the films we showed, including The Great Ruaha River, are environmental films Tanya and the AEFF team donated to us. Check out their blog: http://filmingwild.wildlifedirect.org/
These environmental film shows are an annual activity part of our EE program in Idodi and Pawaga and I’m already looking forward to next year’s film shows!