Community Outreach

Improving livelihoods and engaging communities living alongside wildlife.

We work to change attitudes towards wildlife, one child at a time, through our engaging Community Outreach Programmes.

We are dedicated to educating and informing the younger generation as to the positive impacts native wildlife can bring to their country. We work tirelessly to improve the livelihoods and educational standards of people living along the borders of Kenya’s National Parks and protected areas, through the introduction of community initiatives and local employment opportunities.

60+

School field trips per year

658

Desks donated to schools

131

Bee hives on fences to deter elephants

We achieve this through hosting educational programmes, offering new and sustainable solutions to human-wildlife conflict, working with local communities in improving school infrastructure and offering scholarships to students, carrying out wildlife field trips, and sports days for local schools. Working in close partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), we recognise that unless local communities understand how they can work with – not against – wildlife, they are not enthused to actively participate in ways and means to support their future survival.

Poverty remains the single greatest reason why Kenya's future generation are not experiencing and learning more about wildlife. Nearly half of Kenya's 45 million people live below the poverty line, and poor education, poor health and unemployment all combine to create a cycle of poverty.

We believe children have a right to be informed about their country’s diverse wildlife and how valuable it is to the land and to the country itself. In Kenya’s School Curriculum, wildlife and environmental topics play only a very minimal role. For those communities bordering a National Park, it is vital that they be better educated as to the nature of wildlife and the value of the countries priceless natural resources, so that all parts can exist in harmony. With continued funding, we are inspiring young people to stand up to protect their wildlife and to become ambassadors for some of the world’s most endangered species.

Support our Community Project

Beehive Fencelines

In 2014, we launched a pilot beehive fenceline project modelled on successful trials developed and conducted by Dr Lucy King of Save The Elephants who discovered that elephants are averse to the sound of bees.

This project was piloted in a suitable area for bees creating a safer environment for Kenya’s wildlife and local farmers.

Beehive Fencelines

In the communities bordering Tsavo East, along the north-western side of the Mtito River, SWT is working together with the Mtito Andei Human-Elephant Conflict Resolution Self Help Group to come up with an affordable and non-aggressive way of curbing human-elephant conflict.

One such way is a beehive fenceline installed on farms on the frontline park border. With support from SWT and with initial funding from British Airways, this community group has so far constructed 2.2kms of fence line with over 131 modern langstroth beehives, incorporating seven local community farms which have been hit the hardest from elephant invasion.

This beehive fenceline is created using a 12-gauge tensile wire fence (for hanging the hives) and other modern beekeeping equipment. The SWT has also provided training courses for the farmers with a professional beekeeper who teaches them how to maintain the hives and harvest the honey safely.

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This project has multiple benefits to the farmers as, not only are their farms guarded against elephant invasion, but their crops are being better pollinated as the bee population increases, whilst they also benefit financially from sales of honey.

The farmers who are working with these new beehive fences have been collecting data on visitations by elephants and feel confident that the method works. This is evidenced in areas where elephants have walked up to the fence and have eventually turned around and returned into the Park when they couldn’t find a way into the farm.

Dr Lucy King, who pioneered the concept, has been collecting data for several years now and reports that the fences are 80% effective, suggesting that, out of every 10 attempts by elephants to get into the farm, only two are successful.

Nairobi Orphanage Education Visits

We host visits for local school children at our Nairobi Elephant Orphanage to meet our elephant carers, who educate the children about the orphans and the threats to Kenya’s wild elephant populations.

On average, over 20,000 Kenyan school children visit our Nairobi Orphanage every year, attending the 11am to 12noon daily mud bath.

Supporting Schools

Field Trips

We arrange free field trips into Tsavo East and West National Parks so that school children who have never seen an elephant before, or even the most common of wildlife species, can learn about their wildlife heritage and environment.

With a dedicated 29-seat Field Bus, our Community Officer accompanies 25 children and 3 teachers on a full day’s conservation trip, introducing them to, and teaching them about, their natural heritage and the importance of protecting it.

Donate to community field trips

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Wildlife Film Shows

We organise wildlife educational film viewings in remote communities which teach communities about their environment and the importance of their priceless natural heritage. These films, which cover a variety of conservation issues and wildlife themes, play an essential part in sensitising local people to the wildlife that surrounds them.

We utilise fully-mobile cinema units to allow us to host screenings in even the most remote locations and we aim to organise up to four Wildlife Shows a month, reaching more than 1,500 adults and children every month with a wildlife conservation message. Each show consists of the film showing, with an interactive question and answer session hosted by our Community Officer.

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Tree Planting

We provide indigenous tree saplings to local schools and communities bordering the Tsavo Conservation area to encourage children and adults to plant, nurture and protect their trees.

Through our rehabilitation program, we provide education about the importance of trees and forests, and the vital role they play within the environment and give communities a sense of ownership and pride over their forests. All tree saplings are grown in our tree nurseries in the Kibwezi Forest and Kaluku, before being distributed by our Community Officer.

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Sports Equipment

Sport is a valuable tool for teaching, engaging and uniting children, yet many schools bordering the Tsavo Conservation Area are unable to purchase even the most basic of sporting equipment.

We supply schools with volleyballs and nets, javelins, shot-puts, discs, skipping ropes, badminton sets, footballs and other equipment, allowing the children to engage with their classmates and compete in tournaments with other schools.

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Desks

Many schools in Kenya lack even the most basic of equipment. Teachers struggle to educate overcrowded classes, where children are forced to either sit on the floor or squeeze onto a battered desk. Without a comfortable learning environment, children are unable to concentrate and absorb what they are being taught.

We provide sustainable study desks to schools bordering the Tsavo Conservation Area, built using a metal frame and wooden top, reducing the consumption of dwindling natural resources whilst lasting a lifetime.

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Adopt a school

Our all-inclusive education initiative offers desk donations, sports equipment, wildlife shows, field trips and tree nursery programs to individual schools in impoverished communities. Each school is provided with every element of our educational program, delivered by our trained Anti-Poaching Units in an engaging and sustainable way, achieving great results.

For a donation of $4,800, you will receive photos and updates from the school that you have adopted, and the opportunity to visit your adopted school in Tsavo, Kenya, should you plan a trip to personally see where your contribution has gone, and meet the children whose lives your generous donation has helped to change.

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Support our Conservation Projects

Help us reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict, enhance community engagement and better protect wildlife
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