Courtney Berne, English Language Instruction at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

After nearly a decade teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Courtney Berne is using her skills to start a language program for locals living in the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia.

The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage is a closed community located in a remote part of Zambia. Currently, sixty families (approximately three hundred people) reside within the preserve caring for over 130 endangered, orphaned chimpanzees. Although thousands of tourists visit the park annually, most residents cannot speak English fluently and lose the opportunity to communicate with tourists about their work.

This summer Courtney plans to pilot an English language program at Chimfunshi in order to enhance advocacy efforts by giving residents the ability to speak directly with visitors about the importance of chimpanzee conservation and to provide a means for sustainable prosperity in the community through education.

Throughout July & August 2015 Courtney will launch conversational English classes that include basic reading, writing, and speaking components, with a plan for ongoing classes in 2016.

For more information, please visit Chimfunshi’s website or Facebook page.

GRANT AWARD DATE: June 5, 2015