The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy works as a model and catalyst for the conservation of wildlife and its habitat. Home to many threatened species including critically endangered black rhino, endangered Grevy’s zebra, and elephant, cheetah, lion and leopard, its activities focus on protection of species, support for community development, and environmental education in neighbouring areas. The education programme works with local schools and individual students as well as the wider community around the park and further afield.
Lewa directly supports 21 schools near to the conservancy, with around 7,000 students at all levels of education. It offers support through infrastructure and curriculum development, student empowerment programmes, teachers’ training, provision of school supplies and sports equipment, and bursaries for talented students. Lewa also runs adult literacy and digital literacy initiatives, whilst libraries at some schools benefit not only the students but also the wider community. The conservancy also hosts school groups from across Northern Kenya for game drives and visits to its Conservation Education Centre.
Tusk has provided over $1 million in support for the education programme through our annual Safaricom Marathon. Funds have been used to refurbish schools, establish vegetable gardens, improve infrastructure and support bursaries. One of our major donors funded the full refurbishment of Kilimani School including new classrooms, dining room, kitchens, water and electrical systems, fence and girls dormitories. This has led to a higher intake and improved results, and enhanced communication between the conservancy and the community. Tusk also supports Lewa’s field conservation and community activities.
The education programme remains one of the most impactful way that Lewa demonstrates the power of conservation to transform the fate of communities, their children and future generations. Consistent funding is required to maintain its essential activities.
Image Credits: Lewa Primary School Students © Natalie Solveland