Aside from our active Community Outreach Programs within the Tsavo Conservation Area operated alongside our antipoaching efforts, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust runs a full time Community Outreach Program in Nairobi, headed by Josiah Aligula our Community Liaison Officer.
Our Nairobi based community Project has achieved much throughout 2007 including the following:
One of the ways the Community Outreach Program is able to educate numerous school children on environmental issues is through our Mobile Cinema shows. Between Nairobi and Tsavo we run 4 Mobile Cinema Units. 39 schools were visited between January and December 2007 by our Nairobi based Community Outreach Program alone, with over 11,200 children within the environs of Nairobi being exposed to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Environmental Lectures and video shows.
Field Clean Up Trips + Tsavo Safari
Field Trips, combined with clean ups, are an interactive and participatory way for pupils to embrace conservation. These David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust sponsored trips give participants the opportunity to take part in clean- up activities, then visit well known wildlife centers around Nairobi, these include The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans Project, and the Giraffe Center and The Safari Walk, along with a visit to The Nairobi National Park. A total of 16 clean up trips were carried out in Nairobi throughout the year with 878 participants. From these 16 trips 23 of the most enthusiastic children, chosen from five different schools, were selected to be a part of our fully sponsored five day safari in December 07.
The itinerary for the Tsavo Winners Trip included a lecture by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick with a visit to the Infant Orphaned Elephants in Nairobi, overnight and game drives the next day in Lake Nakuru National Park, then onto Tsavo West National Park with the attractions including Mzima Springs, and the five hundred year old Shetani Lava flow. From there time was spent in Tsavo East National Park, which included a visit to Aruba Dam, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans Project based in Voi and a conservation talk delivered by Mr. Rashid of KWS.
This trip not only rewarded these students for their enthusiastic approach to conservation, but served to help them appreciate wildlife all the more and become more responsible in conserving and preserving it.
The radio initiative began in February 2007 with 5 programs aired on KBC central station.
In July we then chose the privately owned and popular Musyi FM radio station reaching 350,000 Wkamba listeners. Michack Nzimbi, who has been an elephant Keeper for over 20 years with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust delivered talks on elephant rescue, raising and release and together with our Desnaring team leader Reuben Wambua spoke about the bush meat threat and other conservation issue in four 30 minute programs. Listeners were allocated time to call in to ask questions and the end of each live talk.
August saw us tackling the largest tribe in Kenya, the Kikuyu. Kameme Fm another privately owned radio station, was our preferred choice. Keeper Stephen Kiarie, and Desnaring Team Leader James Mbuthia, were on hand to present the seven 30 minutes programs spanning seven weeks. These programs were met with enormous enthusiasm from the listeners, and 800,000 Kikuyu listeners were reached.
The Luhya tribe, from Western Kenya took the third slot and Mulembe FM was the radio station. Wildlife is almost non existent in the region due to the population explosion and loss of habitat. Edwin Lusichi, our Nairobi Head Elephant Keeper, and Josiah Aligula our Nairobi Community liaison officer, shared the conservation education during the month of October over 4 programs which reached 600,000 listeners.
We found that these programs were a resounding success with enthusiastic audience participation during the phone call-in times at the end of each show. It is our intention to continue with this initiative throughout 2008 where we hope to focus on programs for the Meru tribe, Luo tribe, Maasai tribe and Swahili.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust would like to thank all the many Organisations and individuals around the world who donate so generously to enable us to continue with our most important Community Outreach Programs, both in Nairobi and on the boundaries of Conservation Areas, these include the boundaries of Tsavo and the Mara Conservancy.
To donate towards our Community Outreach Work (please click on the link)