The purpose of the education centre is to build commitment to and understanding of the environment by Tanzanians through education, research and field experience.
The objectives are to:
- provide environmental education and experiential programs and support facilities for school children and local communities that will be delivered on site, in the adjacent national park and through extension programming;
- support a comprehensive communication network for engaging with youth and disseminating environmental messages and research results to a broad public;
- provide support facilities for field research;
- host small meetings and conferences; and,
- welcome and inform visitors to Saadani National Park about the environment and programs of conservation both within and outside the park.
Our vision is of a small, efficient and environmentally sensitive centre that encourages the participation of school children from all over Tanzania and of all education levels, college and university field programs, local communities and visiting researchers. It will also serve similar sectors within the international community.
The centre is to be located on a 100 acre parcel of land very near the main park entry gate to Saadani National Park. Negotiations have resulted in land within Mkange Village being reserved for the Kesho Trust and SANA specifically for this purpose.
The proposed facilities include: a reception / administration centre, interpretive facility, meeting rooms of different sizes, a resource centre / library, on-site accommodation in varying configurations [some small dorm facilities, some individual / couple facilities and some camping facilities], dining area and lounge and kitchen and servicing facilities.
The centre will reflect the environmental image that it represents. The entire operation will be as environmentally sensitive as possible incorporating sustainable solutions for essential services such as site maintenance, energy utilization and waste generation. All visitors to the centre should recognize the efforts that will be made and should commit to living up to our environmental conservation standard during their stay.
Another feature of the plan for the site is to incorporate into the centre a community radio station that can be run by local youth as a significant component of the outreach of the centre. Not only does this require the education and training of youth but it engages them positively in environmental advocacy and decision-making in their communities. Educating the youth of Tanzania to become better stewards of the land is an important mission and one that the Kesho Trust and SANA believe in deeply.