The aim of the project is to connect families to nature and encourage communities along the Western Area National Park to be more involved and interested in protecting wildlife, the environment through awareness programs as well as engage in environmental sanitation practices.
The project invites parents and their children (five families per community)-husbands, wives and three children per family head from one community.
The most recent beneficiaries of the project are Sussex and John Obey communities. The selected families visit the sanctuary on two consecutive days implementing the following activities; a guided tour of the sanctuary, planting of trees in the mudslide area near the sanctuary, prepare enrichment for the chimps, build hammocks to be used by the chimpanzees to swing, play and sleep and engage in community sensitization through flyer distribution. Also, families engage in community cleanups and plant trees after their visits to Tacugama.
According to the Communications and Education Coordinator of the sanctuary, Ethel Sillah, the goal of the project is to equip families with adequate knowledge on environmental and wildlife protection and create a platform for families to contribute to the protection of the environment and value nature in their daily lives.
She added that participants are encouraged to replicate lessons learnt during the visit in their respective communities by sensitizing others to protect wildlife and the environment, plant trees to prevent flooding and other environmental disasters and always clean their environment.
Empty bags are distributed to the various communities to clean their environments and collect the rubbish before being taken to the dumpsite.
At the end of each event, 25 participants from the target communities receive T-shirts, exercise and text books, pens, posters on the environment and empty bags to collect and deposit their rubbish.
Parents and pupils interviewed told this medium that they were not aware about the importance of protecting chimpanzees and the environment, the rich biodiversity of the sanctuary, that they enjoy the fun of touring the sanctuary, watching, preparing food to feed the chimpanzees as well as planting trees, the cool breeze, the clean and tranquil forest environment.
Management provides transportation for participants to and from the sanctuary.