Education in Kenya is managed by the national government, which is responsible for providing all learning resources for the primary schools. However, due to the challenges of associated with inadequate provision of the required resources, students in the highly marginalized region of northern Kenya, continue to lack most of the essential educational resources. This problem has been detrimental to the quality of education that the students receive, and the numbers of students that can graduate to move on to high school. It is in this regard, that Save the Elephants and Elephant Watch Safaris, continues to partner with donors to bring the unavailable resources to these schools.
Through the amazing support from the Fred B. Snite Foundation, the Lpus Leluai – Westgate Primary School has continued to receive support for books, employment of teachers, dormitory construction and renovation, furniture, solar system for lighting, among other needs. This support has brought about immense improvement in the resources that support the academics within the school. With many years of continued support, the school has seen girls comfortably secure boarding facilities while most recently the boys have received an upgrade to their dormitory.
One of the students who has greatly benefited from this support is James Larapu from Ngutuk El Muget, who secured an Elephant Scholarship for his high school studies, at the beginning of 2018. James says securing accommodation at the school was so helpful because it ensured that he would always get meals everyday, light for studying in the evenings, and didn’t have to walk for about 30 kms to receive his education. Getting to focus more on his studies than on the daily hustles of travelling to school, fostered his good performance, which enabled him to secure a scholarship.
Six other schools within Samburu and Isiolo Conservation area have continued to receive immense support from the Mellmann Foundation, for books, bedding, renovation of dormitories and provision of the solar equipment needed for lighting the school. The support from the Mellmann Foundation and Ivory Ella enabled the building of a very strong fence at Lorubae School, which is keeping the girls safe at school without having to worry about their safety, during the daily treks to school. Girls in northern Kenya are greatly affected by traditional cultural practices such as forced early marriages and female genital mutiliation (FGM). Such practices leave them vulnerable to attack on the long treks to school in the early mornings and evenings. This is one of the reasons why providing accommodation and meals, supported through the Capricorn Foundation, has enabled these girls to study, as they focus on achieving good grades.
These partners mentioned and many more incredible donors, continue to enable Save the Elephants to not only conduct research, but to establish community partnerships with the parents, guardians and leaders who are part of these schools. It is through our engagement with the school communities that we spread the messages of conserving the ecosystem and its wildlife, which are helping sustain their livelihoods. These communities are the custodians of the wildlife and the protection of the entire ecosystem is determined by how they live and the choices they make.