Update on your 2019 Elephant Scholars


Connie Kithinji, Conservation Education Officer

Date Published

Educating communities is critical to ensuring the future of wildlife and their habitats, and promoting values that cultivate coexistence between humans and wildlife. With about 70% of wildlife living outside protected areas – and with many of those areas rapidly decreasing, Save the Elephants is working hard to bridge the gap and create harmonious living between both species.  Education of course plays a big part. Through education, we create future ambassadors by providing children with knowledge about conservation and the factors that threaten the survival of wildlife.

In 2019, Save The Elephants and Elephant Watch Safaris, ushered in a new class of 20 scholars into the Elephant Scholarship Programme.

The students come from needy backgrounds and all possess an immense desire to succeed and make a change in their communities.  Made up primarily of students from Northern Kenya, they are also undergoing mentorship to enable them achieve their future dreams and goals.

This year we also welcomed our first student from the Elephants & Bees (E&B) Project in Tsavo – Margaret Kaiza. A student at the local Kileva Primary School, Margaret was chosen by the staff at E&B who noticed she was a very motivated student. E&B have run conservation education programmes at the school for many years. Margaret was orphaned at a very young age and will benefit enormously from the financial support to further her education in high school.

In the final primary school examination results, Margaret ranked in the top position in her school, which got her admission in one of the best girls’ schools in her home County of Taita Taveta – Murray Girls’ High School.

After the first term of school ended in April, the new Elephant Scholars travelled for a four-day Orientation Programme to Nairobi. In partnership with Ewaso Lions, we facilitated a mentorship programme that included career talks, advice on study methods, life skills, and a tour of some historic and iconic places within the city.

These activities not only inspired, but also equipped the students with the skills needed to guide them through the four years of high school, and beyond. We also took this opportunity to remind the students of the importance of the scholarship programme as a tool to promote community conservation. We can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve!

Elephant Scholars observing an elephant that frequents the STE Research Camp in Samburu National Reserve (Image by Connie Kithinji)

Students following keenly as Daud Abdi, STE Field Education Officer, gives advice during the Orientation Programme for new scholars in April 2019 (Images by Edgar Chomba)

Irene Lochili Ekal at the mentorship session, during the Orientation Programme that was held in Nairobi in April 2019 (Image by Edgar Chomba)

Margaret Kaiza (left), with her family and, Maureen, Elephants & Bees (right), on her first day in high school (Images by Naiya Raja)