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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Preparing for the Adventure…

Sketches have been drawn, questions asked, lesson plans made and practical lessons trialled – and we are ready to go! Well almost, we just need a few more discussions about what to pack for the adventure that is Satellite Camp. In just a few days time we are off to Kidong for the first Tsavo West Satellite Camp trip of this expedition – I’m very excited and judging by the reaction of the volunteers to the training they are too!

Our Tsavo West Sustainable Development programme aims to provide assistance to groups of ex-poachers by building their capacity to engage in sustainable alternative livelihoods. The programmes that Global Vision International operates differ from village to village, and have been developed in conjunction with key members of each community to suit the specific characteristics of the village in question. I am lucky enough to have the job of running these programmes and can not wait to get back to Kidong to see how are they are progressing with the livelihood options we have been assisting them with over the past year.

Our objectives in Kidong next week will be to teach the community how to make and package a selection of soaps which they can then sell to tourists (we have one order already!), and to continue to assist them with the development of the Cultural Centre they are building. The Cultural Centre is a community based information centre which will tell the story of the people of Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini, and their journey from ‘poachers to protectors’ of wildlife. The information for the Cultural Centre has been gathered, advertising material is being developed on this trip to Kidong, some of the buildings have been constructed, and with the help of GVI’s new construction project (Construction and Sustainable Development with Ex-Poachers in Kenya) I am very hopeful that the Centre will be completed by the end of the year. My aim is be able to post pictures of tourists passing through the Cultural Centre during the Christmas break this year… so keep watching this space for updates!