Reaching out virtually to younger generations and first “rewilding” lesson for the young enthusiast of Tourism High School in Haskovo

16 April 2020

Reaching out to younger generations and inspiring them to learn more about the wild nature around them is a critical part of rewilding. This week our rewilding team participated in an exciting online lesson with young followers and enthusiasts from Secondary Vocational School of Tourism “Aleksandar Paskalev” – Haskovo, Bulgaria.

Despite the temporary limitations, experts from Rewilding Europe and Bularian society for the protection of birds together with 15 high school students took a virtual “tour” in the Rhodope Mountains. The young enthusiast met online some of the iconic animals in the area and were introduced to our rewilding work and efforts. During the one-hour Q&A session we answered questions related to the foundation’s work, special interest provoked the history and the return of the bisons and the tarpans in Eastern Rhodopes.

 Despite the temporary  limitations, the team together with the the group of 15 high school students took a virtual “walk” in the rewilding area. The young enthusiast met online some of the iconic animals in the area and were introduced to work on their return. In the one-hour Q&A session our answered the students’ questions related our rewilding work, special interest provoked the history and the  return of the bison and the tarpans in the Eastern Rhodopes.

The school is an author and participant in the European eTwinning School Platform project (part of Erasmus) aimed at increasing young people’s  interest and activity connected with environmental conservation. The one-hour lesson was recorded and part of the video will be available on the e-platform. The “rewilding” lesson will be visible to other students and schools participating in the initiative. The project involves 22 European schools from 11 countries. “We are excited to introduce students from all over Europe to our rewilding mission and work,” commented Nelly Naydenova, LIFE Communications officer at Rewilding Rhodopes.

 “Our students are closely following the  “rewilding” activities in the area and we are impressed with the work you do and the “rewilding” successes you have achieved. I would like to share the good example from Bulgaria with other European educators and students ” commented Elena Dimitrova, the initiator of the online lesson and English teacher at the high school. The students were particularly curious about the opportunity to visit and see the larger animals that our team brings back to the rewilding area such as bison and wild horses when there is an opportunity.

During the online lesson rewilding images and documentaries in English and Bulgarian were screened followed by discussion on possibilities  for future rewilding involvement and possibilities. Anton Stamenov from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds shared information on the diversity of of the birds species in the Eastern Rhodopes.

Given the tourism profile of the high school,  also discussed were the possibilities of professional  opportunities and career paths for those students with a special interest in the natural world and environmentally friendly tourism.

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