New report highlights impact of education in conservation

31 August 2023


Born Free releases its 2022-23 Education Annual Report, outlining the international education programmes which have been running over the past year, and the impact this work has had.

A montage of images including wild animals and people in an educational setting

Its back-to-school time and Born Free is pleased to present our 2022-2023 Education Report, filled with the empowering and impactful work our dedicated team has led and supported over the past financial year. In partnership with local communities, local schools and valued partners we aim to promote environmental awareness for the good of both people and wildlife.  


“Born Free works hard to secure harmonious co-existence between people and wildlife,” explains Laura Gosset, Head of Education, “and our education work helps to enable this through a people-focused approach, to complement the work being carried out by the conservation, policy and animal care teams.” 

Highlights from the new report include:
  • Collaborating with non-profit Autism and Nature, we created our first-ever accessible set of resources specifically aimed at children with autism and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Across two modules of work, students learn all about African elephants and the threats they face, through interactive art and drama sessions. Since their launch in June 2022, the resources have reached approximately 4,545 SEND students, and remain one of our most popular resources on our shop (page 10).
  • In Meru we launched a Population-Health-Environment (PHE) project in September 2022, as part of a holistic approach to conservation, believing that people are more willing and able to adopt sustainable practices if their basic needs, like health care, are met. So far, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MoH) Department of Health Services of Meru County, we have reached well over 6,500 people directly with medical outreach clinics, community dialogue and action days, stakeholder engagement and adolescent and reproductive health sessions; consequently allowing us to reach the same people with important local conservation messaging (page 15).
  • The Lavelikhwezi Empowerment Project in Patterson South Africa, a women’s livelihood project set up with support from Born Free, received their first large order, creating guest welcome bags for Shamwari Private Game Reserve (page 25).
  • In Sadamo and Wolmera Choke, Ethiopia, we undertook a survey, to find out what challenges the community face and how they interact with local wildlife. This was then followed up with a workshop held for a number of key stakeholders, from the environmental conservation authority to the local education bureau and community elders. We will use this information, which highlights lack of local employment opportunities and conflict with baboons and monkeys as some of the most significant issues, to create an action plan with a view to starting a number of community-focused initiatives in 2023/24 (page 29).
  • Our conservation clubs in Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia reached a total of 975 students from primary and secondary school, teaching them about the environment, biodiversity and the importance of conservation action.

Born Free believes that conservation cannot be sustainable without the engagement of local communities. All these activities, and those contained within the report, support the work of the organisation to protect the populations and habitats of wild animals including lions, savannah elephants, giraffes and gorillas. They also explain the need for tighter laws and agreements that aim to promote wildlife conservation, wild animal welfare and build a connection with nature; and finally, to help highlight the importance of thinking about individual animals, their welfare and their role in the wider environment.  

Laura Gosset adds that the education team is incredibly grateful to Born Free supporters for enabling this work to take place, and says: “Education can play a key role in turning information into action. Highlighting how the health and wellbeing of both people and wildlife are interlinked – whether you like in the UK or rural Kenya.”

This work is a collaborative effort across the whole UK team, but with special thanks to the amazing, dedicated and knowledgeable education team, working across the UK, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa: Phoebe, Lemessa, Vino, Charles, Charlie, Sidney, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Million, Nosi and Enya.

Find out more:

You can discover more about our education work over the last year by reading our 2022-23 Annual Education Report.


Get involved:

Our education work includes webinars, a kid’s magazine (available online), in person and remote workshops and free to download teacher’s resources, so no matter where you are your children and students can benefit.