If an organisation has a business structure its efficiency will increase ten fold. Growing funds is the prime objective, so less productive procedures will fall at the waste side. If a commercial conservancy is run to get income via the tourist trade it will make sure its gift shops and extras are up to scratch in order to get the optimum amount of income. Also the workers would be paid for their work, so should be up to a better degree of efficiency. By paying people you give them an incentive to work harder the organisation ends up with a more inspired work force. This business structure provides an employment ladder, workers may start as a cage cleaner and work their way up to being a tour guide. In this way the workers are trying their hardest to be promoted, increasing productivity. Money made from the gift shop and holidaying tourists can then end up paying to conserve and help out animals and habitats. Whilst supplying a steady source of income that donations couldn’t match. In response to this it could be said that if a company is solely interested in making money they will forget their values and end up harming animals in their care. For example, if there was a new lion brought into a zoo or commercial conservancy it could be deemed too expensive to increase the size of the lion enclosure. Also if the idea for the program was to reforest an area of rainforest then would they be able to do that efficiently without paying the workers? Another opinion is that volunteers are so involved in their designated path that they will perform better than workers without the same moral incentive. However it’s also said that If an organisation is solely running on external funding such as grants, volunteers and donations then there is no stability to the company as they could easily run out of funds and also volunteer work is short term so long term work ideas are difficult to continue. However a massive positive aspect of volunteer work is that the workers go and help out for a designated time, they further their learning through their work and further their understanding. When the volunteers return home they spread what they’ve learnt to friends and family so widen the education pool. Volunteers are willing to give up their time to help out, is there any better way for a business to be run? The workers want to be there and are enthusiastic about their employment; there would be no question of them destroying the good name of an organisation due to money...

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Every Friday, The Great Primate Handshake will be submitting a question for discussion. This question will relate to current topics concerning conservation. It is hoped that through your involvement, the Handshake website can become a platform for informative discussion on current and future conservation topics. We need your views and...

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After an extended development time and a wonderful contribution of fantastic photographs from Great Primate Handshake volunteers, we are happy to annouce that our new photograph section is now live. Over the next few weeks we will start to build up each gallery, populating them with photographs from past (and current) expeditions. The Kenyan Handshake Expedition whirred into life yesterday, with staff and volunteers currently undergoing their first few days of training at the edge of the Rift valley. As the expedition continues to Kenya’s many game reserves the photos of Kenya’s primates and endangered wildlife will flood in. Join us on a photographic journey this August, at...

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Today the education and web team went to Kasiisi School, where their wildlife club was holding activities – and the Primate Handshake had the opportunity to be part of them. We arrived at 10am, and after a quick meeting with the teachers and organisers of the event to arrange last minute details, we joined the pupils in the playing field, where minutes after, the children started singing and marching. Their song was about their concerns for the Ugandan habitat, and it actually touched me deeply when they started to pick up the garbage from the roads and from the small hamlet near the school. I felt so overwhelmed that I couldn’t help a few tears run down my cheeks. Later on the pupils introduced themselves to villagers, explained their concerns about the environment, and asked them to please collaborate with their country and help to promote conservation of their environment. After an hour of collecting rubbish from the streets we went back to the school with baskets full of paper, plastics and other items that were contaminating the area. When we arrived, the wildlife group was divided in three. The education team, who had previously been working on different projects and activities for the children, had the chance to present to the students. The teachers from Kasiisi School were very pleased with our participation during the day and very grateful with the work that the team had...

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Today the education team, Suzanne, Abbie, Jade and Ellie, went to Kasiisi School to teach a conservation lesson as part of the school’s wildlife club. We were joined by Ben and Natasha from the video team, so they could make a documentary of our day. Rehmat, Alex and Kiera from the web team came to take photos and help out. It wasn’t the quickest start to the day as it was my birthday party last night, so everyone is a little tired. We all soon forgot this when we arrived at the school, the children have so much energy. The wildlife club is optional and over 60 children attend; it’s fantastic that so many children are interested in conservation. The first activity that the club does is a litter pick. They carry a banner with the school logo and sing songs on the way down to the village. We managed to collect 3 large baskets full of rubbish. The children talk to the local villagers trying to encourage them to recycle; the villagers appreciate the children getting involved but find it difficult to recycle everything used. Everything that was collected is taken back to the school; the paper is used for making rope, baskets and jewellery. Once we got back to the school we split into groups. One group made ropes and footballs out of the materials collected, the second group did a tip-tap lesson and the other children were in a choir lesson. We watched the choir group and attempted to join in; this is the song that they were singing: Uganda sees the environment is gone, Trees cut down, What shall we do? The only solution is to plant more trees, Plant more trees, And let the environment shine. Then it was the education team’s turn to teach the lesson that we have been preparing. All the children sat in a circle while I read them a story about Colin the Colobus which we wrote as a team. We all sat amongst the children and discussed the issues covered in the story. It was then time for a warm-up; we played a modified version of ‘stuck in the mud’ that we devised with humans chasing the monkeys!! This introduced the issue of deforestation to the children in a fun and interactive way which the children really enjoyed. They were all far too fast for us to catch them! We then moved on to our main activity. I split the children into 4 groups; each member of the team was in charge of a different group. Jade took the machines group, the children had to act like a...

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Today, after an early breakfast, we started our journey to Kibale National Park for a wildlife walk. Mixed feelings and expectations were raised by many of the volunteers, as it was going to be their first experience in an African National Park. At the park, we were divided in to two groups with different tour guides. We then commenced our walk. At we started the walk a relaxing feeling grew amongst the volunteers that accompanied us. The aroma of nature and the different sounds produced by birds, primates, reptiles and insects merged into a sonata for our ears. The fascination of the rainforest and its beauty left us without words. To walk beside the footprints of elephants made the whole experience unforgettable. After an hour and a half walking into the floral paradise, our serene walk was interrupted by huge biting ants that attacked us without mercy. They were crawling up our legs, getting into our socks, and even our shoes! This turned our relaxing time into a vivid nightmare for a short while. In the afternoon we had the fantastic opportunity to visit Kasiisi School. We had the chance to join one of their special lessons using “One Laptop per Child (OLPC)” laptops. Kasiisi school joined the OLPC programme a year ago and have been using laptops to aid their lessons. The Handshake covered their work last year (see our YouTube channel for video coverage). It was very interesting to see how happy the kids were in class and it also amazed us how much the children enjoyed school when they got to use the laptops. The school in general has many an interesting programme for the children, including extra curricular activities and a well utilised library. After interacting with the children and getting a better understanding of their needs, another highlight of our visit to Kasiisi was meeting an American volunteer who is currently creating additional programs for the laptop. This is great for the Primate Handshake as his skills and experience will help us install conservation games and activities onto the XO laptop – produced by previous and current volunteers, and will also help the Handshake put in practise the many educational classroom activities produced during expeditions over the past few years. We all left the school hoping to collaborate with them in a number of different ways and are excited about sharing our content with...

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