Jean Thomas is the Education and Capacity Building Officer for the Tenkile Conservation Alliance and is primarily responsible for training programs and raising awareness of conservation throughout the Torricelli Mountain area. She spends her time conducting training programs for local people in Lumi and in the past she has visited schools and villages conducting a school education program, drama program and puppet show . The aim of TCA's education program is to raise awareness of Tenkile and the biodiversity of the Torricelli Mountains and help develop skills and knowledge at the local level that will enable the protection of biodiversity.
Jean has written a teacher training manual that comprises of 4 units of work based on the PNG science and social science curriculum. The manual helps teachers better understand PNG fauna and conservation issues so they can incorporate this in their lessons. The lessons are activity based and use local species like Tenkile as examples for conservation. In September 2005 Jean conducted a teacher training course to 27 teachers representing 16 schools. Jean will continue conducting this important capacity building exercise as funding permits (Go to Donations/Help).
One of the major aims for TCA is to establish a conservation area within the Torricelli Mountain range. Through the education programs and work TCA has been doing since its establishment in 2001, we are very close to achieving this. Various representatives from each village will participate in a training course that enables them to better manage their natural resources. A training manual will be written and a workshop will be conducted at our training center in Lumi. Each village will then have a committee of people that have the knowledge and skills to manage the natural resources and ultimately protect the biodiversity of the Torricelli Mountain range.
During village visits Jean has conducted a drama education program in each village. It has proven to be one of the most powerful education tools conducted by TCA. The songs recorded from this program have been incorporated in the TCA radio program and this helps to empower people to protect their natural resources. Jean has also conducted nutrition and cooking lessons for local women to help encourage women to make more informed choices about their eating habits for themselves and their children.
Local schools have received assistance in terms of materials and education programs from TCA for the past 3 years. Links with schools in Australia have been established. The talented students from Upper Yarra Secondary College , members of the "5 Star Club" have written a series of conservation story books and formed pen pals with the students at Fatima Primary School. Contact us to see how your school can become involved with TCA.