The Diana, Princess of Wales, Children's Conservation Education Centre
The Education Centre was developed as a tribute to and in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was, before her tragic death, the Patron of the Chipangali Wildlife Trust.
Charles Spencer unveils the commemorative plaque
After the death of Princess Diana in 1997, a memorial fund was set up in England with the specific purpose of providing funding to the many organisations and NGOs that the Princess supported and of which she was a Patron. Chipangali received a grant from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to develop a Children's Centre. A very large and beautiful interpretative centre was therefore built at Chipangali in memory of Diana, The Peoples Princess.
Together with the main hall and auditorium, facilities include an aquarium of Zimbabwean freshwater fishes, several aviaries, a children's play area, a tropical area for the endangered blue duikers, an indigenous herb garden and a domestic animal farmyard.
One of the conditions of the Memorial Fund was that all children should be allowed free entrance to the Centre. Therefore the Centre, while still being part of Chipangali is separate to the Wildlife Orphanage and has its own entrance close to the tea garden.
We believe that if we are to conserve the wildlife of Africa it will be through educating the children, hence our emphasis on the value of conservation "education".
Thousands of school children of all ages have visited the centre since its inception, and lectures are given on all aspects of conservation. Many teachers also request lectures on various specific topics, e.g. "snake venoms" or "carnivores" etc.
Police, biology students, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides have all used the facilities at some time for a specific reason, and schools find the centre most useful merely to teach young children something of wildlife and conservation. The Centre is run by a full time Education Officer whose salary and other expenses were covered by the German Development Service (DED) until recently.
The Centre is now searching for funding to help continue its work, because with inflation currently running at over 5000% most local children and schools are really struggling to meet the ever increasing cost of transport.
It is hoped that some kind well-wisher could assist with funding towards a small 30 seater bus, where the transport could be subsidized, thus helping many more African children to visit and experience wildlife conservation in its natural environment.
If your organization or company would like to participate in the Diana program at Chipangali, please contact Kevin Wilson for further details on how to help.
Viv Wilson and Charles Spencer
Touring the Education Centre
Feeding the baby impala
Charles Spencer and Peter Rollason