The first of their kind in Uganda, NNF’s Science Centers are natural history museums, libraries, meeting places and demonstration areas. They include animal skulls, skeletons and skins, insect specimens, confiscated poacher’s items, books, educational graphics, and local art and cultural objects. The Science Centers are open free to the public on weekends and during school holidays, and the staff is comprised of local community members and student interns. Most of the items on our Amazon Wish List will be utilized in the Science Centers.
Hear the latest Science Center ad from Voice of Tooro radio below:
Rutooro portions discuss the newest programs, like visiting the botanical gardens and trekking chimps in Kibale, as well as other reasons people should visit the Science Centers: Want to learn the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes? How about a convenient place to buy Eco-Char? There are 5 locations, and all are FREE!
A solar powered projection of nature films is shown to audiences averaging over 300 men, women and children on a weekly rotation (weather permitting) in all the project’s focal areas, providing a forum for discussion where individuals share their experiences living next to the park and information about the project is disseminated. For villagers whose only animal encounters have been negative, the films offer a new way to view wildlife.
Public gatherings provide opportunities for our constituents to teach other members of their community about the project while incorporating traditional cultural activities. Having someone you have known your entire life tell you about their new stove, eco-briquettes or the charismatic nature of chimps is far more impactful than hearing the same from an outsider. Gathering together for Kibale and connecting through song, dance, food and fun promotes NNF’s mission of living in harmony nature. Smaller, more intimate workshops focus not only on environmental concerns but real life issues facing Ugandans today.
Between four competitions in Uganda and two in Vietnam, ~4,000 people participated in 2018. 24 community workshops in 2018 involved more than 1,200 people.
- Working with Ugandan artists in the mediums of waste plastics and metals to create innovative art installations, furniture, crafts and utilitarian items.
- Providing places and opportunities for learning about recycling and motivating young people to influence their families and communities to use eco-friendly alternatives.
- Collaborating with local women’s groups to create alternatives to single-use items that can be sold at a subsidized rate.
- Partnering with local leaders to help impact an overall reduction in consumption of materials and their disposal, in hopes that in the future the program can develop and have a much larger impact.
The first installation is a 3.5 meter elephant made from waste collected in and around Fort Portal. By creating something beautiful that reminds people about the endangered wildlife that makes Uganda special, we aim to initiate thoughts about how waste impacts these animals. Situated on the main Fort Portal-Kampala road, anyone traveling through will notice and, hopefully, wonder. The nearby Science Centers then serve as locations to learn more about reducing rubbish and ways to change what we do have into art and other fun creations.
The first mural, at the Kanyawara Science Center, is a mixed media piece including rubbish to highlight the issue of waste and better options for disposal than the current practice of burning. Inside the center, visitors enjoy activities that include other ways to deal with the rubbish clogging streams, infiltrating forests, and otherwise marring the landscape.
Thank you to Reagan Kandole at Eco Action Uganda, Albert Tusiime at Atwooki Gallery and their team for helping NNF staff make this possible!