Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Teaching Students from Kenya Wildlife Service & Shimoni School

Here at GVI Kenya we have been excited to host students from Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute for their field attachments, and impressed by their commitment and contribution to our work. So it was a great opportunity when the current class of 40 or so Wildlife Management students came to the South Coast on a filed trip and stopped in at our base in Mkwiro. Fadhili, the new chairman of Mkwiro Youth Conservation Group gave them a talk about the community's dependence on natural resources and the issues they face, as well as their perceptions of the marine protected area. I then took the opportunity to illustrate how GVI's research programmes are supporting both partners such as KWS and local communities in managing natural resources and conservation.

Yesterday morning we targeted another group of students... those of Shimoni Primary School, in the second of what we hope will be a long running series of Saturday morning of forest education. Continuing the theme of biodiversity we had the students in 3 teams with our butterfly sweep nets, in a competition to see how many forest edge species they could get. After a tense tie-breaker, the 'Swifts' won with 11 butterflies in half an hour and 9 different species! It all adds to our data as well so they've contributed to our research programme as well as gaining an insight in to just how many different species depend on their forest.

And finally, earlier in the expedition we hosted a different set of students form Mombasa - underprivileged children from the Bombolulu slums who have been taken on by a wonderful team of volunteer teachers that run the Olives Rehabilitation Centre to provide them with an education and a regular daily meal. For some of the kids it was their first time out of their slum and certainly the first time they had been in a forest, seen monkeys or even seen the sea... this week they sent me some letters of thanks: