8 Feb 2017

Ghana Wildlife Society wins Action of the Year Award

Louisa Kabobah (far right) standing with school children © GWS
Louisa Kabobah (far right) standing with school children © GWS
By Jude Fuhnwi

Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS, BirdLife Partner in Ghana) has been announced the winner of the 2016 Action of the Year contest, for its submission - "A walk with Swallows". The contest was organised by Spring Alive, an international project to reward actions by BirdLife Partners in 2016 that encouraged children's interest in nature and the conservation of birds.

Spring Alive announced the results of the competition on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, about a week after voting was closed.

 Voters chose the best action out of three from Zimbabwe and Ghana. Final results gave "A walk with Swallows" by GWS 47% of total votes. "International Vulture Awareness Day Celebrations" submitted by BirdLife Zimbabwe came second with 32% and "Schools for drawing contest" another action from Zimbabwe scored 21%.

“I cannot express the joy I feel at the moment. To the sponsors, organisers and judges I say ‘thank you’. To my fellow SA [Spring Alive] partners and especially those who took time off their tight schedules to vote for Ghana, we at Ghana Wildlife Society say ‘we are very grateful’ and we look forward to another successful year in 2017with SA,” said Louisa Kabobah, Conservation Education Officer at Ghana Wildlife Society. Louisa championed the action that won the 2016 contest and said she felt very happy and excited that her effort was rewarded.

“A walk with swallows” gave a group of teachers, school children and volunteers the opportunity to develop interest in conserving Swallows and other migratory birds. They were taught how to identify and observe birds at the Pambros salt mining industries on the western part of the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The children put in practice knowledge acquired in classrooms. They also learned some unique facts about nature and the life of birds.

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Teachers, school children and volunteers learning about conserving Swallows and other migratory birds © GWS

Apart from barn swallows, a variety of other bird species were sighted. They included the long tailed cormorant, western reef egret, common greenshank, pied kingfisher, black winged stilt, royal tern, little egret, pied crow, whimbrel and the laughing dove. The event gained a lot of publicity online and on national media.

After announcing the winner, Hannah Rachwald, the global coordinator of the contest and Communication Officer of OTOP (BirdLife Partner in Poland) praised Louisa’s submission mentioning the impact it made for the benefit of nature.

“I sincerely congratulate Louisa and her team in Ghana on victory and winning a prize - a photo camera. We will be in touch with the winner about delivering an award.  Thank you very much for all your initiatives undertaken for the benefit of nature, for encouraging people to be involved in Spring Alive and for sharing your experience with us!” said Ms Rachwald.

Spring Alive is an international campaign that encourages children's interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds and to get them to take action for birds and other wildlife as well as to participate in events organized by BirdLife Partners.