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Good news for Esiteti

Earlier this year we received a donation of $42,000 from the A.E Reimann Foundation to fund our projects and activities at Esiteti Primary School near Tortilis camp. Part of the funds will go to the construction of 2 classrooms in the school to cater for the growing number of children in the school.

We have already identified a contractor who will be taking the project. Recently, our project coordinator took him to the school for a site survey. The construction is scheduled to start in mid August and we cannot wait to share the images of the progress of the project.

Still on Esiteti, another donor has expressed interest in funding the construction of a boys’ dormitory. We are currently working on a final quote for the construction and are hoping that we will tie this project to the classrooms’ construction.

These projects once completed will greatly improve the standards of education at Esiteti and the neighbouring villages.

Christmas is here and, in keeping with the season, I want to share a story packed with hope and good news. And I hope you’ll make more stories like this come true.

Elosy is 15 years old. She lives with her mother and younger sister in a small village near Elsa’s Kopje neighboring the Meru National Park. Her father was killed by robbers 8 years ago and now her mum is the sole provider.

Her mother runs a simple grocery shop but what she earns barely pays for rent and food. This story is all too common in rural communities across Kenya.

Elosy dreams of being an electrical engineer. With the help of her school, she’s working hard to make her dream come true. She knows it’s only with hard work and determination that she can live a better life.

It’s rare that families can afford to give their children the chance of a life that we take for granted. Education in Kenya is out of reach of most rural communities, meaning a life of poverty and hardship for so many children.

But you can help children like Elosy. So far, the Land & Life Foundation has given 19 youngsters the chance to fulfill their dreams through our Wildlife Warrior Scholarship program. We still have 8 more children who desperately need funding and next year, we’re hoping to change even more futures.

Remember a time when someone helped your wish come true? This Christmas, make that person be you.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • $100 will just about cover a family trip to the cinema, but that same amount will send a pupil on conservation training, vital to their education
  • $200 might buy you a dinner for two, but it can pay for a child to receive tuition for a whole term
  • $600 gets you a scuba diving trip, but it also pays for someone like Elosy to attend school for an entire year

Please show your gratitude this Christmas and join us today to grant youngsters like Elosy their wish and a promising future.

The theme for this year’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is “it’s your story – don’t lose it”. We’ve found the perfect way to promote the day as part of our Wildlife Warrior Program.

In partnership with local schools, the Wildlife Warrior Program gives community leaders of tomorrow, the skills and experience to work in harmony with the environment and wildlife, protecting them for generations to come. By educating students today, we hope to build a bright and sustainable future.

We have recently introduced the use of conservation videos in our program. This has given us the opportunity to teach conservation themes in a more practical and exciting way to the students. And the more we can engage the students, the more they are likely to excel at their studies.

In the recent past, we have shown conservation videos to children from some of our supported schools. This has been received with great joy by both the children and the teachers – some of whom have had the chance to see motion pictures for the first time in their lives.

The videos have had a really positive effect on the children, bringing the subjects even more to life as it broadens their understanding of nature and wildlife conservation. The films can add a new depth to the studies, showing how conservation works at both local and international levels.

After the great success we’ve had so far, we’ll continue to show the films to all our supported schools and hope to continue the fantastic impact they’ve had.

The relationship between wildlife, environment and the communities of East Africa is a fragile and complex story. Natural habitats are under constant threat from development, farmer’s crops and livestock destroyed by wildlife and as demand for space gets greater, these conflicts will increase.

At Land & Life we’re all driven to build a positive future. And that’s why our Wildlife Warrior Program is so important. You might remember us introducing you to the program last month, and Sharon, one of our successful Warriors who will make such a positive difference to the future of her community.

The excitement is building for the future warriors as they get closer to finding out who will be chosen to go forward, and over the last two weeks, there’s been a beehive of activity.

Exam time is in full swing. Working with school staff, students at Esiteti, Kachiuru, Engilae, Ura Gate and Ololomei Primary Schools have now sat their Wildlife Warrior Scholarship exam. It hasn’t been easy but then we need to make sure we only choose the most dedicated and passionate students to go forward.

Our Project Coordinator David Mbugua traveled to Tortilis, Kitich and Elsa’s to deliver the exams in the respective schools. At EPC the managers sent camp guides to administer the exam on our behalf. “It’s been hard work but also a lot of fun” said David. “It’s wonderful to see how much the students want to be part of the scheme and help build a fantastic future for where they live”.

And for us and the students, the hard work doesn’t stop there. The L&L team in Nairobi now has to mark and grade all 50 of the Wildlife Warrior exam papers as we await the end of year results for all those who took it. Of the 50 students only 10 – 2 from each school – will be lucky enough to be awarded the scholarship in January 2017.

But luckily for the Warriors, it’s not all hard work. To reward them for their dedication and energy, we organized for students from two of the schools to take part in game drives.

On Thursday and Friday last week, 30 Wildlife Warriors from Embiti Primary School near Sand River got to experience a game drive at the Maasai Mara National Reserve and 6 Wildlife Warriors from Esiteti Primary School took part in one at Amboseli National Park, followed by a visit to Tortilis camp for lunch.

The children loved the experience and many of them got to see up close for the first time the amazing animals they learn about in school.

We’ve got huge hopes for our future Wildlife Warriors and whoever goes through, we know they’ll share our passion and dedication for protecting wildlife and helping communities grow sustainably.

Today we would like to share the insights of the Wildlife Warrior Scholarship Program. Every year we select the top performing Wildlife Warriors from each of our supported schools to join the scholarship program.

This year, we have already started the process of selecting the scholars for the year 2016/2017. We have distributed 90 scholarship application forms to all the schools from which we have selected 51 Wildlife Warriors to sit the scholarship exam.

The scholarship exam is conservation-based and will be administered in all the participating schools by the L&L team with the help of the respective camp managers and camp guides. We, the L&L team in Nairobi, will then embark on marking and grading the exams.

The last step will be to select the top 10 scholars (2 from each school) to join the Wildlife Warrior Scholarship Program. This will be done based on their performance in the scholarship exam and their end of year exams.

The whole Scholarship Selection Process is designed to avoid any politics and we always ensure that the scholarships are awarded to the most deserving pupils from each school.

The new scholars who will be selected at the end of this year will bring the number of the scholarship beneficiaries to 29. Our commitment is to pay 75% of their school fees up until they complete secondary school education.

We will let you know once the selection process is complete but before then, if you would like to know more about our current scholars click here.

As our Wildlife Warrior Program approaches the end of term, we wanted to share some highlights with you.
This term’s theme was The Importance of Forests, focusing on:

  1. Types of forests
  2. Various terms associated with forests like afforestation, reforestation and deforestation
  3. Causes and impacts of deforestation
  4. How to protect forests

Thanks to all the camp managers and guides who have generously supported this term’s theme by giving engaging and inspiring talks at our supported schools.

The newest highlight of the Wildlife Warrior Program is the Debate Competition, which has already taken place at Ura Gate Primary School near Elsa’s and Ololomei Primary School near Elephant Pepper Camp (EPC). Huge thanks go to Patrick & Sophie at EPC for taking the time to preside over the competition at Ololomei, and to Elsa’s guides who supported the competition at Ura Gate.

Next week, the Debate Competition moves to Esiteti Primary School near Tortilis and Engilae Primary School near Kitich. We are also holding a Poster Competition at Embiti Primary School, the newest entrant to the Wildlife Warrior Program. We are particularly delighted to be hosting a group from the Young Presidents’ Organization during the Poster Competition, so they can see the Wildlife Warrior Program in action. You will find photos of their visit and the competitions on our website and social media pages after next week.

Recently, as part of our partnership work with the Ngilae community near Kitich, we held a two-day Bee Keepers’ training event. During the event, which trained 12 members of the local community, Mr. Kenneth Kaburu of African Beekeeper Ltd. gave a lecture on beekeeping using the Langstroth beehive. This training was a key moment in the project, as it brought together a range of people from Ngilae, all of whom want to improve their livelihoods through beekeeping.

Poster on Importance of Trees

Our Wildlife Warrior Program Term 2 activities are well on course with a very exciting competition planned for the pupils – a debate on the motion “Deforestation should be banned!”.
We have chosen a debate because we believe it will help our Wildlife Warriors hone their communication and presentation skills, as well as cultivate confidence and teamwork.

Once they have learned how to debate, they will have the skills to think critically about issues surrounding them, helping them to make informed decisions.

As we have done in the past, we will engage Camp Managers with supported schools to facilitate Conservation Talks at their local school within the next three weeks.
The Debate Competition will be held in the last week of July – please check our website and social media pages then for photos of our Wildlife Warriors in action.

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