A.F.E.W Kenya Ltd. otherwise known as the Giraffe centre usually organizes a number of ecology trips that are conducted outside Nairobi area. As a result, A.F.E.W organized an ecology trip for Nyanza region on October 20th 2012 where 6 schools drawn from Siaya and Kisumu County were selected to participate. The students were able to visit Kisumu Impala sanctuary and Osienala Education centre. The trip comprised of 45 students to include; Barding Primary School, Rambo Primary School, Usingo primary school, Agoro Lieye primary school, Pap Nyadiel primary school and Josana Academy. Barding secondary school assisted in mobilization and facilitation.
The trip started off at 7.00 a.m where the students were picked from Siaya County and headed off to Kisumu where they arrived by 10.00am. The first place to visit was Kisumu Impala sanctuary where they were able to see different animals to include; a cheetah, a lion and a lioness, leopard tortoise, guinea fowls, leopard, buffalo and ostrich.
The students were able to learn about the habitats of these animals and their interaction with man. They then proceeded to view a portion of Lake Victoria within the park and the students were able to see the effects of the water hyacinth infestation in this rich ecosystem. At this point, there was a discussion of the negative effects of the human activities and the measures to curb the same.
The second place they visited was the Osienala Education Centre where they had lunch and afterwards students from two schools recited poems on environmental sanitation both in their mother tongue ‘dholuo’ and in english. They recited these poems in Osienala’s studio where they were recorded. This was a great motivation to the other students.It also helped to boost their self esteem, confidence and public speaking skills.
This was then followed by a talk by the Head of Education department Osienala who highlighted the role of the community and education in conserving environment with emphasis on Lake Victoria. There was then a question and answer forum which was very interesting. Most of the students seemed to be very knowledgebale and willing to learn. About 80% of the schools had not been to any National Park and neither had they laid their eyes on Lake Victoria!
AFEW Kenya Ltd Environmental posters and brochures were given to the schools. Osienala Education Centre also gave out their resource materials .As this discussion was ongoing, the teachers, a student from each school and the educators were filling in the evaluation forms to assess the impacts of the trip to the group and identify gaps to be filled in future ecology trips. They were all very enthusiastic since you could see their faces beaming with joy and the trip was enjoyable and worthwhile.
At 5.00pm, the trip participants left Osienala Education centre to their respective schools and by 5.10pm, the trip had came to an end.
- Most of the schools were very far from Kisumu and hence we were not able to visit some of the places in the itinerary because of time.
- The schools had no exposure to the Giraffe Centre and its programs.
- The teachers felt that there should be a consideration of sponsoring these schools to come to the Giraffe Centre in future to learn more about the Centre’s programs
- There should be the consideration of taking the schools to the nearby conservation area like the one in Siaya County.
- Underprivileged schools around Kisumu should be considered since they are also in close proximity to our target conservation areas of visit.
- The teachers suggested that there should be networking between the schools so that the schools in the neighboring community can be able to also learn about AFEW’s ecology trip programme.
- The schools were willing to be taken for a trip to various conservation places also around their locality.
We acknowledge the board of directors for giving us the opportunity to carry out the ecology trip, Barding Secondary School team for mobilization and facilitation, the students, the school administration and also the A.F.E.W Kenya Ltd staff for the team work and working together towards achieving A.F.E.W’S vision and mission.