The Elephant Scholarship Programme continues to provide opportunities for needy students from Northern Kenya to get education, beyond the basic Primary School level. This initiative has seen the programme focus on the high school and tertiary education, ensuring that our scholars get the best skills required for them to pursue productive careers and influence their communities positively. In the quest to achieve this, we provide our students with mentorship as they move through the various education levels and navigate through their career choices.
In the month of August 2018, we spent two weeks during the school holiday tuition with the Form One and Two students. These students not only got the opportunity to reside in the wild, at the STE Samburu Research Camp, but also, received one-on-one mentorship from the STE Education Officers and other staff members present. As the students spend most of their time in boarding schools, there is a myriad of challenges related to peer influence, confidence, academics and to some extent, bullying. In addition, most students hail from families that are struggling and experiencing many difficulties, which make it important to have counselling forums for each and every one of them.
The weeklong stay at the Samburu Research Camp provided an opportunity for our students to get extra tuition sessions from our Education Officers, teachers and the digital platform such as www.khanacademy.org . Such opportunities enable us to deal with any difficult concepts for each student, which is majorly in the Sciences and Mathematics, which are very well covered with tutorials and assessments. For most students, it was the first time to use a computer, which was equally challenging, as it was exciting. Getting to guide the teenagers as they signed up for email, and learn how to navigate through the online study platform, revealed how much potential they had, if given opportunities to explore more.
This online tuition program, as well as, the mentorship sessions is part of the STE/Elephant Watch Camp Elephant Scholarship Programme’s goals to provide education to students, while nurturing them for leadership within their communities and schools. Offering guidance and mentorship through their academic journeys is very critical in ensuring they make informed choices, and inspiring them to become positive influencers for conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Through such engagements we are exposing our students to the work that the STE Researchers do, sharing with them knowledge and skills on how important elephants are to their ecosystem and the survival of all species.