Conservation Clubs

Conservation Club members participating in a wildlife game. Photo by Dan Rubenstein.
Twelve primary schools and one secondary school in Laikipia County participate in the Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs. The Conservation Clubs aim to connect children to their environment with the hope that they will understand the relationships between wildlife, their landscape, and their lives. All the children live in pastoral communities with a long tradition of using the environment to sustain themselves and their herds. However, increasing numbers of people and livestock have put pressure on the environment and wildlife. The lessons and projects carried out in the clubs provide students with knowledge about the world around them and the effects of their behavior on the habitats on which they depend. The Conservation Clubs meet after school and provide a structured curriculum with hands-on learning. A typical lesson might include a story about something to be studied, a game to illustrate a concept learned (bones, seeds, etc.), watching wildlife, searching for special plants, or listening to a researcher talk about the work he/she does. Activities such as these help develop students’ awareness of their surroundings, make the lessons interesting, and hopefully make students more willing to help preserve the world around them.

A Conservation Club teacher giving a lesson. Photo by Dan Rubenstein.