Envirokidz® funds support ACT’s innovative program that brings indigenous youth and elders together so that environmental and cultural knowledge can be passed on to the next generation, educating indigenous students to become conservation leaders.
- With support from the EnviroKidz Giving Back Program, ACT was able to establish a cooperative program with the Surinamese state-sponsored elementary school in the village of Kwamalasamutu. Officially incorporated in the state school curriculum, the project enables the ACT-sponsored traditional school to host approximately 100 children between the ages of 8 and 16 two days a week. The students learn from the village leaders about the use of medicinal plants, traditional handicrafts, and their native culture. The school year ends with excursions, led by community elders, to culturally and ecologically significant sites that aid in the students’ traditional education and give them a better understanding of the intrinsic value of their ancient cultures and the fragility of their local environment.
- Subsequently, the Program provided the support needed to expand the Surinamese educational program geographically to the Trio village of Tepu, introducing an additional 65 school-attending children to activities that re-enforce a connection between the community and the natural world.
- Additionally, Nature’s Path support assisted ACT in the construction and establishment of a new school in the indigenous interior village of Sipaliwini, which provides instruction for approximately 50 children and provides resources for training local teachers.
- With initial support from the Program, ACT is developing a series of learning guides—one on local fauna, one on local flora, and one on the forest in general—for a Junior Park Rangers initiative, an extension of ACT’s indigenous park rangers program.