Working in various countries we pay particular attention to details such as using local companies, local guides and wherever possible local produce. In Morocco we are introducing an educational programme to local schools focusing on nature and we are also helping cooperatives whose aim is to improve the quality of life for marginalized women and children.
A regular fellow traveller, Barbara Vagliano, introduced us to an educational programme ‘For the Birds’ developed by The Audubon Society New York. Through adaptations made by the Andalucia Bird Society, we were able to put together special packs for the education of some youngsters in Morocco and made contact with organisations responsible for a number of remote desert schools. These packs consisted of photographs of the more common species of birds seen in the desert regions, boxes of coloured crayons, various outline drawings of wildlife for colouring and special teacher packs to enable the staff of each school to develop and incorporate the wildlife course into their curriculum. Of course by visiting these schools and also a women’s co-operative we learnt some valuable lessons on how to improve future presentations and also how better to give support to various needs of the region.
Peter Jones, Spanish Nature’s senior guide, takes up the story from here:
“For a long time now it has been the desire for all of us at Spanish Nature to somehow incorporate into our tours a meaningful and dedicated way to help those less fortunate than ourselves. As with all schemes and projects of this nature, planning the means of help was time consuming and also required a great deal of discussion with various official organisations. Without the help and input of Barbara (Barbara Vagliano), I don’t think any of the projects for Morocco would have been possible. Barbara proved the driving force for me and her tireless energy was truly inspiring. Not only did Barbara introduce us to the possibilities presented by the ‘For the Birds’ educational programme, but she also procured the crayon sets, drew the outline drawings for colouring and did much of the presentation work in Morocco! Working with the kids was a pure joy and their response was both positive and enthusiastic. I was also struck by the dignity of the people and their desire was only for the means by which they could help themselves. The woman’s co-operative in Zagora were only interested in secondhand sewing machines in order to produce clothing and craft items for resale, which would provide the means to an end by generating funding for further projects. Even simple things like an old and used bicycle can make a huge difference, enabling a remote child access to an equally remote school. I believe the opportunity now exists for us to introduce similar schemes to other Spanish Nature destinations and I very much look forward to playing my part in working closely with several local communities”.
Spanish Nature are now in discussion with other groups who are interested to take part in our initiative and help fund various projects from supplying bicycles for children to procuring old sewing machines and binoculars. So if you would like to help these projects in a way possible for you, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ways to help.
A very important aspect of our education programme is the provision of new or used binoculars. If you are buying a new pair please consider donating your old ones to our programme. We are also assisting some local wildlife guides who are desperate for used telescopes so if you are buying a new scope, please do consider donating your old one.
Any quantity of good quality children’s clothing, notebooks, drawing books, pen sets, crayons and pencils (plus sharpeners) are all welcome. If you would like to make a monetary donation please contact us for details.
And finally a big thank you...
We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Barbara Vagliano, The Audubon Society New York and Andalucia Bird Society for their help in making such projects as the above possible.