As part of this year’s road-map to the 15th Kwita Izina mountain gorilla ceremony, RDB (Rwanda Development Board) together with Hermosa LifeTour last Saturday commenced a countrywide school-debates competition that aims to raise awareness on the importance of conservation by grooming the youth to take ownership of Rwanda’s future conservation efforts.
This year’s Kwita Izina ceremony will take place on September 6, in Kinigi, Musanze District.
40 secondary schools, representing each province and the City of Kigali, will participate in the debates.
The criteria used to select the schools is that they needed to have active debate clubs and a willingness to learn about Rwanda’s wildlife and conservation policies and programs.
Saturday’s debates were the first and took place at Groupe Scolaire St. Aloys in Eastern Province.
Commenting on the debates, Belise Kariza, the RDB Chief Tourism Officer said that involving youth in conservation is essential because they are the ones who will become the next generation of conservationists.
“They need to understand what exactly is going on, not only in Rwanda, but also in the whole world so that they can be well-prepared fir their future responsibilities,” she said.
She added that, “These debates are an important platform for us to encourage more young people to care about their environment and the entire natural world.”
Oreste Ntirenganya, the Hermosa Life Tours Managing Director said, “There is no sustainable solution towards conservation other than by educating the young generation.”
He said, “We chose to use debate as a tool of raising awareness because it brings the art of reading, thinking and speaking together in one place.”
Debate competitions are transformational experiences for students and the audiences.
In this debate competition, students will be engaged voluntarily in social activities that will reap significant intellectual benefits that will enhance their academic skills, education on Rwanda’s wildlife and conservation agenda and information on the benefits and opportunities in tourism in general.