The Green Education Kit Arrives in Kwamalasamutu

Date: 
Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dutch version can be read on the ACT Suriname website.

On March 11, 2015, ACT’s Katia Delvoye delivered a green education kit to a public school in the remote Surinamese indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu. The kit contains lesson plans and their related materials, including books about nature and the environment in Suriname.

“It took a lot of effort to get these things to Kwamalasamutu,” Katia said. “In recent days, the airfield was closed due to heavy rain. But now the kit is finally there!”

The Indigenous Park Guards of ACT with the green education kit, on the way to the public school of Kwamalasamutu. Click to enlarge

Susan MacNack, principal of the Kwamalasamutu public school, and assistant principal Phildas were delighted that the school was selected to receive one of the first kits distributed. Approximately 200 schools are slated to receive the kits as more become available. Susan and Phildas promised to use the kit for upcoming lessons. ACT’s Indigenous Park Guards (IPGs) will also be available to provide insight into the curriculum components that focus on the local culture and environment. The IPGs frequently facilitate lessons about traditional knowledge and the natural world to students in villages of the interior.

ACT requested that Dino, a resident of Kwamalasamutu, create a wooden chest (above) where the kit could be safely stored. The team hopes that other villages in Suriname’s rainforest interior will do the same.

Students from the Kwamalasamutu public school examine the contents of the green education kit. Click to enlarge

The idea for the green education kit emerged from brainstorming sessions held in 2012 between ACT and several other local NGOs. A division of Suriname’s National Forestry Service now leads the effort to create and distribute these educational materials.

In 2014, 140 teachers and librarians were trained to use the kit. During the nine training days, participants worked with representatives from WWF Guianas, ACT Suriname, and Suriname’s National Institute for Environment & Development (NIMOS) to learn about issues relating to land, water, air, biodiversity, climate change, pollution, and mangrove forests. The educators then brought this information back to their communities. This experience, in combination with the new kit, should improve environmental education for local people.