Monday, May 4, 2015

PURDUE STUDENTS VISITED ORE AND MLILO PRIMARU SCHOOLS

Purdue group 2014

Having Purdue University students visit every year is not only a pleasure to us at Amara but also a privilege to school students in Taita Taveta County.

A vast majority of Kenyan children have never seen an elephant before or a lion, or even the most common of wildlife species. Entering a Park requires a vehicle and the ability to pay entrance fees for the people and that vehicle. For most living on the boundaries of the rural Parks, these are costs that cannot ever be met. Being able to go into the Parks and see wildlife and the landscapes are life-altering events for the children.

For this reason Amara arranges free field trips into Tsavo East and West National Parks whenever we are able to fund them. We enroll the kids and their school in Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, so they have a local wildlife club of their own. It also provides reduced entry fees into the Parks. Seeing wild animals in their own habitat helps the children to understand the fascinating and vital heritage we have and gives them a strong understanding of the importance of protecting the wildlife.

Play time with the kids

This year students from the University will be taking Mbela Secondary students on an all-day game drive into Tsavo West National Park. They will visit the school prior to the trip where we will show them how Amara does its work. The school is located in Kishushe just bordering Mbulia Conservancy. The community-owned Conservancy, managed by African Territories has a beautiful lodge named Kipalo Hills, where the US students will stay during their visit.

On the final day with Purdue students, we will have an interschool soccer match competing with three other schools around the Conservancy. The winning team/ school will be handed gifts brought by the kids from Purdue.

Last year Purdue students visited Ore and Mlilo Primary Schools. We also planted tree seedlings at Ore. They saw the joy in the faces of the young kids, and their eagerness to learn and mingle with the University students. They even performed a traditional Taita song and dance for us. It is a memory forever etched in the hearts of the Purdue students, and one the Kenyan kids will treasure forever.

Shetani lava in Tsavo West

Viewing Mzima Springs

Ore primary school entertaining the university kids.

Group photo: Mzima springs (Tsavo West)

We believe that exposing young school kids to wildlife in such a positive way, helps them grow to respect and value conservation in their daily lives.

We welcome everyone on board to assist us with making this once in a lifetime opportunity available to the young generation! Amara would like to be able to give every single student in the Tsavo Conservation Area the opportunity to visit the parks. The impact of that would be enormous!

POST BY PETER TOWETT

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