“How many different species of animals did you see coming into Lewa Wildlife Conservancy?”
Wild Class visits Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – another destination for Kenya schools as part of the Laikipia Wild Class offering.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy’s Conservation Education Programme is an effort that was developed to educate young people from local communities about conservation and the value of wildlife. Established in 2010, the programme aims to provide a holistic and progressive environmental education for visiting school groups. Lewa hosts most of its student visitors from northern Kenya and beyond. They are all about producing behaviour that benefits conservation among the next generation of Kenyan citizens.
A quick chat with any teacher accompanying students on these trips will reveal that it’s a rare opportunity for most pupils to enjoy, and one they definitely do not take for granted. What’s great about the LEWA programme is that it has clearly demonstrated what conservation education is all about: getting up close and personal with nature.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of many notable conservation education destinations in Laikipia. It uses information about the surrounding area, its geography and local habitats to challenge young minds. It introduces new ideas about conservation and works to develop common attitudes among visitors towards it. School children go through learning experiences that are outdoor, nature-based. Their intention is to create a deep appreciation of the diversity of plants and animals that populate the Conservancy and its surroundings.
As part of their efforts in the communities surrounding Lewa, the Conservancy sends a Conservation Education Coordinator to schools to follow-up on lessons learned in the Conservancy. School-based efforts include activities that support environmental learning and action.
Between June 2013 and May 2014, Lewa was able to open wildlife clubs in 10 schools surrounding the Conservancy. The students in these clubs are now committed to environmental conservation not only in theory, but also in practice within their surrounding communities. They have taken on the responsibility of educating their fellow students, parents, and community members about the importance of wildlife conservation and its benefits.
Laikipia is blessed with a diverse wildlife and distinctive landscapes. These qualities combined with unique land uses of the area make it the perfect “outdoor classroom”. So how does Laikipia Wildlife Forum fit into this? Laikipia Wildlife Forum is pioneering an idea which invests in locations where experiential learning is another form of land use, where learning takes place without walls, and where pupils and teachers join with farmers, ranchers, and conservationists to learn about their surroundings and livelihoods. Wild Class is born!
Wild Class is a collaborative effort of more than 10 conservation learning destinations in Laikipia. Each is working to offer a unique set of learning opportunities for students and teachers. And they all belong to the growing network of conservation education facilities, programmes, and specialists that belong to Wild Class. Stay tuned to learn more about Wild Class in upcoming communications.