Ecology trip 2019
On the 6th February, 2019 a group of 45 children from Patmos School, together with Teacher Judtith Nyapera and Christabel who is one of the school social workers, went on a Conservation and Ecology trip that had been organised by the Education Department of The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya.
This was an educational outing designed to give the children a practical experience and a better understanding of the study of ecology and conservation. The children are taught the theoretical aspect of these subjects at school and this trip was facilitated by the Headmaster to bring to life some of the areas they have been studying.
The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya Limited (AFEW (K) Ltd) also known as the Giraffe Centre, was founded in 1979. The Centre was opened in 1983 with the main aim of promoting conservation education to the local people. The Founder saw it as an opportunity to pass on important information on conservation to the youth as they were to become the future leaders and as such he felt they needed to be well educated with environmental issues. He had a vision of creating an educational institution in conjunction with rescuing the endangered Rothschild giraffes which resulted in the present day Giraffe Centre that has become a world famous nature education centre.
In 1983, the Centre received approximately 800 visiting students. Over the years the numbers have increased significantly and in the year 2012 a total of 61,986 students visited the Centre.
These educational trips would normally be sponsored by parents and guardians of the children, however, so as to ensure equal opportunities for all children, the the Giraffe Centre also fund these trips for underprivileged children whose families are not able to afford the entrance fees and for children from informal settlements. This trip was fully sponsored by AFEW Kenya Ltd. and all Park entry fees and meals were met by AFEW.
The coach belonging to the Giraffe Centre collected the group from Mathare and took them to the Wildlife Centre in Langata. The students had the opportunity to visit the Giraffe Centre A-Rocha Kenya, where they learnt about conservation agriculture, waste managment, tree planting and sustainable farming practices. They also learnt about some of the environmentally friendly projects that can be initiated to promote conservation in schools.
The trip also included a visit to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage where the group had a picnic lunch before proceeding to learn about other wild animals and ecosystems in Kenya before returning back to school.
Below is a report about the trip which was written by Christabel who is one of the social workers at Patmos school.
REPORT ON THE SCHOOL TRIP TO THE
GIRAFFE CENTRE ON 6th FEBRUARY, 2019
"Patmos school appreciate Giraffe center for the opportunity to participate in the pupils’ ecology trip. The school has been benefiting from the same program since 2015. The trip was to specifically educate pupils on the types wild animals, their feeding habit, benefit to the world, environmental conservation e.g. planting of trees and environmental sustainability. Pupils were advised to enhance hygiene within their surrounding and respect all animals regardless of their categories.
They visited four different places including Giraffe center, Mamba village, David Shadrack Wildlife Trust organization and Animal orphanage. All in Nairobi county. They took lunch at 1.30 and left to the last organization. The organization sponsored the entire trip including transport, entrance fee for all the three organizations and refreshment.
Giraffe center is the Kenya conservation organization whose major goal is to educate Kenyan school children about their country wildlife and environment. It also gives visitors both local and international an opportunity to see wild animals and educate people on the benefits of all animals within different environment.
Pupils left Patmos school at 9.30 am and was pick by a bus own by Giraffe center organization. They first stopped at Giraffe center office where they leant about the organization; its programs, origin, challenges types of Giraffe, their feeding habit and some of their special characters. Pupils also got time to feed giraffe and ask questions about the organization and the Giraffe.
All responded well and left to Nairobi Mamba village. The organization is a home for different types of crocodile and other wild animals. Pupils learnt about types of crocodile, their feeding habit, special characters and reproduction.
They also learnt about ostrich and left to David Shadrack wildlife Trust organization. Pupils saw elephants, learnt about types, features and their management in park and at the center. They learnt more about environmental conservation and sustainability.
All enjoyed and left to Animal orphanage where they took snack and viewed different types of wild animals. These included hyena, cheater, monkey and the rest. The aim of this was to enable pupils see other wild animals which were not available in the previous sites. Pupils got enough time to rest, ask questions and travelled back to school at 3.30pm".
This educational trip and the whole experience will have been immensely beneficial for these children most of whom rarely get to visit anywhere outside of Mathare. It will have undoubtedly inspired them to see first hand the tremendous conservation work that is taking place at the Giraffe Centre, the Mamba Village and at the Animal Orphanage.
Patmos School is extremely grateful to Mr Victor R Ochieng Assistant Conservation Education Officer at the Education Department of The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya for organising and facilitating the visit and for providing the children with the opportunity to go on this educational trip free of charge.
Children from Patmos School have also been accepted on one of these educational trips in previous years. In February of 2017 after one such visit to the Giraffe Centre, Claire Nasike who is an Environmental Education Officer at A Rocha Kenya, helped the children establish a botanical and food garden at Patmos School.