Education as a tool to inspire


by Meha Kumar

Date Published

Former STE intern, Meha Kumar, joined our education team during their conservation education lessons across schools in northern Kenya. Here she shares her experiences.

There’s an African proverb that goes “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”  

Save the Elephants (STE) not only works to secure a future for elephants but also to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species. 

One of the ways in which STE does this is through its  conservation education program. In addition to giving back to the community, the program targets the impressionable minds of primary school children, exciting them about elephants and their environment through films, games and school trips.

A student from Ngaremara Primary School talking about the negative effects of poaching during a conservation education lesson

On one of the visits to Ngaremara Primary School, I took my first glance at the children and instantly noticed their radiating smiles. 

They had the happiest faces plastered on as we arrived and I could see how determined they were to grasp all the knowledge we were going to share with them. STE has been transforming the hearts and minds of children towards elephants, as evidenced in their increased appreciation and reduced fear of the sentient beings.

Education officers, Rose (left) and George (right) teach Ngaremara Primary School students the importance of creating wildlife corridors for elephants

Chumviyere School struck my soul the most. The school principal mentioned that the population of girls in this school is higher than that of boys, and oh my, was I delighted as I’m a huge supporter of empowering girls through education! Traditionally, especially in some African cultures, girls have been denied the right to education. And when they can go to school, their menses get in the way. As a result, girls opt to skip school for fear of being caught out. 

In an effort to keep girls in school, STE, in partnership with PadMad Kenya, have a sanitary pads distribution program targeting school girls around northern Kenya, elevating their self-confidence, so they can stay in school.

Chumviyere school girls holding sanitary pads donated by PadMad Kenya

The pads made by PadMad Kenya are washable and reusable cloth sanitary towels for girls who otherwise have no access to or cannot afford disposable sanitary pads. 

I was privileged to interact with these amazing girls and offer a few nuggets of inspiration and motivation. You could see that at the end of the entire session, these girls were feeling more confident and ready to take on the world and their studies!

“Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.”