17 Dec 2013

Spring Alive transcends borders to bring people and birds together

Drawing by: Maria Slater, age 11
By Communication Europe

For the eighth time, people in now 49 countries in Europe, Africa and Central Asia looked out for winged heralds of spring as part of the BirdLife International educational project called Spring Alive.

Birds know no borders; they have the power to inspire and unite people who share the same interests but who come from different countries on different continents. During the recently finished 8th season of Spring Alive, over 54,000 children, 900 teachers and supervisors, and 500 volunteers, joined together to observe and record the first sightings of five bird species: the White Stork, Barn Swallow, Common Swift, Common Cuckoo and Eurasian Bee-eater.

In Africa, a drawing competition, “How Can I Help Birds?” drew the attention of children and adults alike to the very special role birds occupy in nature and in human life. More than 300 drawings were submitted from South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Botswana and Nigeria.

The next Spring Alive season will work towards putting an even greater emphasis on the importance of the project in establishing interpersonal relationships by launching a pilot programme called Spring Twins. Fifty-six schools from three European countries (Bulgaria, Montenegro and Poland) and three African countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya) have been admitted to the project.

Actions taken throughout Spring Alive are continually made possible by support from the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa.

For more information please visit www.springalive.net