A collaboration between Dr. K. McKaye, the University of Maryland and Malawi, led to a modest environmental education grant from World Wildlife Fund, USA - to use art as a tool in a course to heighten awareness among school children living close to Lake Malawi National Park. They learned that, through drawing on their own hand-made paper – about the connection between bilharzia (disease) and over-fishing. WWF Finland also became interested in conserving the unique fish species of Lake Malawi National Park (LMNP) and initiated a number of projects related to environmental education – to conserve the natural resources of Lake Malawi National Park.

Download the LMNP book preface


Art, as a tool, in environmental education has become an integral part of projects that began with WWFUSA and continued with WWF Finland – with a focus on benefitting communities close to Lake Malawi National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site. The torch has been passed on to a Malawian NGO – HEEED (created by WWF Finland) which continues to promote the goals enshrined in their constitution: Health, Education,Environment and Economic Development – working with communities within the area of Nankumba Peninsula, including Lake Malawi National Park. HEEED’s ongoing programme has been supported by United Nations Development Programme – GEF Small Grants Programme ( and is currently the recipient of a grant from Ensome (Nicaragua).

The challenge lies in changing peoples’ behaviour and such initiatives are necessarily slow in taking root. This requires a long-term vision if we are to truly affect the lives of children – the future stewards of their environment.

Download The Hiding Hyena book (an educational cartoon booklet for children and adults alike)


Alison continues to work  as Educational Advisor with HEEEDMalawi and to support  initiatives related to the Health, Education, Environment and Economic Development  of  communities living adjacent to Lake Malawi National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cape Maclear EcoLodge and the HEEED Volunteer Programme also help support HEEED goals and anyone interested in visiting/participating – please contact the Manager, Elious Yohane.


2009-2011   UNDP (GEF) Small Grants Programme to HEEED Malawi: “Enhancing Community Action Through Environmental Education in the Lake Malawi Eco-region”

2010 –           ENSOME ”Enhancing youngsters’ understanding of Lake Malawi National Park: Courses in observation, drawing and creative recycling”

2009-            Conservation and Community Projects in Lake Malawi National Park: UNESCO World Heritage Site: A Model for International Cooperation World Wide Fund for Nature Finland and RAFLI Foundation

2006-2008   Conservation of Lake Malawi and Liwonde National Parks: Strategies for Health, Environmental Education and Economic Diversification of the Surrounding Communities. World Wide Fund for Nature Finland & Finnish Foreign Ministry

2003-2005   Sustainable Economic and Environmental Strategies to Combat Famine and the Invasive Water Hyacinth in Liwonde and Lake Malawi National Parks. The World Wild Fund for Nature Finland and Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

2002-2004   Conservation of Endangered Species of Fishes and Forests of Lake Malawi National Park: Environmental and Economic Strategies. The World Wild Fund for Nature Finland and Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

2001-2002   Using the Environment as an integrative context for learning. World Wildlife Fund USA: drawing, creative recycling, hand-made paper for youngsters in Chembe, Malawi