Darwin Animal Doctors


Guardians of the Forest

A few weeks ago, Sarah our Community Development Manager gave a talk at the Africa Animal Welfare Conference about the Guardians of the Forest Youth Ranger programme she created for us at Darwin Animal Doctors to implement around the world. We’re hoping to develop the programme in Morocco, Madagascar and Tanzania but it’s already being taught in Sumatra and the Dominican Republic.

Through her presentation you can learn exactly what we’re doing around the world with the Youth Ranger programme:

The programme encourages communities and children within the community to have their voices heard and make a change. Conservation is a pressing issue in education that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

The programme’s content is specific to each community we work with. We work with local teachers and rangers, in both English and the local language in creating each specific programme. Along with this, we also uses online forums such as Facebook, to make it even more interactive and allows the participants to really take ownership.

A really important part of the programme is the variety of teaching techniques used: Drama; story telling; public speaking; practical, hands-on teaching; as well as classroom teaching. The real life situations builds confidence and self esteem, and stimulates questions within the students and gives them a real life context to apply what they have learnt.

Just a few of the lessons learnt include: jungle safety, the illegal wildlife trade, interactive story-telling; and practical lessons: recycling material in the environment, habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, tree planting, and the opportunity to do community surveys to identify needs within the local community..

The programme also teaches the teachers and rangers in all these new, hands-on teaching methods, allowing the teachers themselves to become enthusiastic about trying new things and become mentors within the community. The teachers are encouraged to make the programme their own and really inspire and encourage their students.

What we’ve found  is the students and young people want to have a voice and take responsibility. When they are allowed to make decisions for themselves and the community, they will create projects to educate the local communities. Seeing changes within the local community empowers them to take action and they are learning the importance of conservation through positive life experiences. The Guardians of the Forest Youth Rangers Programme creates a community of change-makers with a shared responsibility across the world.

Below is a link to the full video of Sarah’s presentation on our facebook page for you all to enjoy. It’s such a brilliant insight into the amazing Youth Ranger programme she worked so hard to create.



In loving memory of our hero, Piggy:

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