The theme for Spring Alive (SA) project 2017 is “Don’t take chicks with you”. As the time for some migratory birds to make that epic journey to Africa to enjoy the warmer climes draws near, it is very important to set a timely reminder that while these birds appreciate our help, sometimes, the best thing we can do is leave nature to take its course. It is also important for African children to learn to “resist the call of the cute.”
To raise awareness on the theme, a Wildlife Clubs’ day out was held at the Swiss Hall of the Accra Conservation Centre, Ghana Wildlife Society, on the 21st of October 2017. In attendance were ten (10) Wildlife Clubs in Accra with a total of 250 participants including teachers, parents and volunteers.
During presentations, pupils were asked to develop interest in the conservation of nature and migratory birds and the need for their conservation. The children were also taken through all the life stages of bird (Hatchling, Nestling, Fledgling and Adult) to identify the various physiological and morphological adaptations and steps to take at when found outside its mothers’ nest at the various stages. Children were encouraged to look out for the focal Spring Alive birds and help them to survive in order to return safely to Europe in Spring. There was a short Q&A session followed by an instant quiz contest where first correct answers received a standing ovation and Spring Alive badges each.
A poetry recital competition was also organised which saw the performance of fifteen (15) different beautifully-crafted poems by nineteen (19) pupils on the topic, “I found a baby bird! what should I do”. Christine Kludje, 13-year pupil from the Sakomono Complex School emerged the ultimate winner of the poetry contest. She received educational materials and books. Maame Yaa and Princess Allanu from Mothers’ Nest Montessori School and Ohene Dickson of Transform Child Development School emerged as first and second runners up respectively. Four (4) other reciters were awarded prizes for their effort.
The closing remarks was given by the Executive Director of the Ghana wildlife Society. He thanked the teachers for their commitment and dedication to wildlife club activities, the children for their enthusiasm towards clubs’ programmes and the parents for supporting their children to conserve wildlife and nature.
It is very important to educate young ones to resist ‘the call of the cute’ and to also teach them that the best way to save baby birds is by returning them to their nests home.
Spring Alive (SA) is an international project aimed to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds and to get them to take action for birds and other wildlife as well as participate in events organized by Birdlife Partners. The SA project is a collaborative partnership between Ghana Wildlife Society and Spring Alive with funding from the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa. The aim of the project is to strengthen conservation education among WCG and more importantly, raise awareness on Spring Alive’s focal bird species: European Bee-eater, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Barn Swallow and White Stork.
To read on the media coverage of the programme, click here.