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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sustainable Development Products Hit The Shelves

The year is coming to an end and it is time to put our work in Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini to the true test – will tourist lodges and resorts in Kenya be willing to stock the products that we have spent the past year teaching ex-poachers in Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini to make?

After a few days of walking the hot streets of Mombasa with bags full of products from Taveta, I received my answer to this question. It was an emphatic yes! Over the past few days I have received orders from a number of high end lodges and resorts in Mombasa for products from all three communities. The most popular products thus far have been the earrings that GVI staff and volunteers taught villagers of Mahandakini to make just a few weeks ago. In fact, one lodge has ordered 100 pairs of earrings which is a great start for this alternative income generation project in the village of Mahandakini.

The fact that lodges in Kenya are willing to stock the products made by the communities of Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini is a reflection of both, the hard-work, dedication and enthusiasm for our lessons that villagers have shown, as well as, the high quality of the lessons that volunteers from GVI have been able to deliver to these communities throughout 2009. This is a great success story from these communities as it means that they will now be able to start generating sustainable alternative incomes thereby increasing standards of living in these villages and reducing socio-economic pressures to return to poaching.

A big thank-you to all the people from Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini, and, the GVI volunteers who made these achievements possible!