Student members of wildlife clubs of Kenya

Wildlife Clubs Of Kenya Membership And Fruit Trees Come To 12 Schools In Aberdares

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Having worked with the Murang’a Youth Bunge County Forum CBO (MYBCF) through the Green Hearts Organisation last year to fund the planting of 4224 saplings as part of the Tulinde Bongo Project, we were delighted to be able to further our involvement this year.  

The Tulinde Bongo Project is taking place in the Aberdares Forest, 3 hours north of Nairobi. This amazing project covers a range of activities – reforestation, education and community engagement – to help protect and save the Mountain Bongo as well as play a part in mitigating climate heating.  

We were thrilled to be awarded a grant by the Souter Charitable Trust which enabled us to enhance the education section of the project. We were able to gift annual memberships to 12 schools, and 3,500 students from the schools in the Aberdares Range to the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya’s (WCK) conservation education programme. 

To be able to have membership, each school had to have an active wildlife club, and once confirmed, each student and school received a year’s membership. The host of benefits includes free lectures, video/slideshows, access to the WCK mobile conservation education lectures, reduced-rate entry to Kenyan National Parks and the three annual issues of the WCK’s Komba magazine.  

The importance of such a membership is to stimulate interest in wildlife, natural ecosystems and biodiversity conservation, with members within the schools helped to develop good attitudes, values and interests for nature, and a commitment towards protecting the environment. The field trips to the parks also contribute towards active participation as the pupils enjoy the presence of the animals, in turn nurturing the care for the wildlife as well as their environment.

Through the clubs, the schools are encouraged to commit themselves to participating in various activities that promote sustainable conservation in their immediate environment, teaching the pupils environmental stewardship.

To help with environmental stewardship we were very happy to supply 640 fruit tree saplings to eight of the participating schools (80 trees each) to help start their own cropping forests. Great Hearts Organisation’s other partners had already kindly supplied tree saplings to the other four schools.

The fruit trees programme aims to instil a sense of responsibility in the school children, and nurture their spirit of care. This innovative method of reforestation will add to the hydrological cycle, create new habitat for wildlife and much needed shade, and contribute positively to the health and well-being of the children and the lives of local communities. 

The pupils will learn how to tend the trees so they reach maturity, and the whole school will benefit from the fruits when the trees start cropping. The oranges, mangoes and avocados will be an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre, which are essential for growth, plus the schools will be taught how to turn fruit tree growing into a business which will greatly supplement revenues as well as creating employment.

It is hoped that both projects, the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya membership and the school fruit tree programme will provide opportunities for students to become directly involved in a variety of activities relating to the environment. It will raise awareness of environmental issues and give the children the power to understand how to make change. 

Sue Jueno WF and Mary Wambui GHO

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