Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cleaning day: Everybody do your share!

With no real infrastructure to manage waste, residents of many rural towns are neither motivated nor educated about why they shouldn’t litter. As a result, many towns, like our neighboring town of Maungu, are overburdened by noncompostable trash thrown in the streets. Part of Wildlife Works’ community education initiative focuses on teaching students how to reuse and recycle plastic items.

On Oct 27th, duty called upon the residents of Maungu to join hands and remove all the polythene paper bags and plastic containers that constantly build up around the town. Wildlife Works and Marungu Hill Conservancy organize an event each year to ensure that the town is clean, and all the plastic containers are recycled into usable objects.

This year our rangers joined in to provide security and assist the students from various schools and community members in their efforts.

Students were divided into groups and assigned different areas of the town to clean. Participants worked with gloves and rakes to remove the unsightly plastic debris, while fierce winds blew papers around and covered the workers’ faces with dust. Those who live in Maungu develop camel-like lashes to keep sand away from the eyes and special salivary glands to sieve sand out of the mouth. The work may seem tedious, but the volunteers were not discouraged.

The townspeople finished up the hard work just after noon, and gathered to relax and enjoy soda and half cake. Students entertained everyone with plays and poems about keeping the town clean.

Christine, who handles waste management for Wildlife Works, gave a speech on the importance of recycling waste products into useable items.

The students also enjoyed learning how to make a homemade hand washing station by attaching a bar of soap and a reusable plastic container to a stick held up by two larger sticks planted in the ground. The stations looked similar to a cooking spit and provided everyone with a place to clean their hands.


Everyone seemed happy to pitch in and do their part. We hope these annual sessions will continue to bring  community members together to make their home a more beautiful place to live.

Working side by side with SOKO-Kenya

A new addition has come to the Wildlife Works Export Processing Zone (EPZ): SOKO!


SOKO Kenya is a clothing production workshop for the export market that aims to create sustainable, fair employment and offer training and skills to some of Kenya’s poorest people. SOKO promotes community-driven, ethical, environmental, fashion-driven garments to the international fashion industry.

SOKO first began producing women’s fashion for the European, U.S. and South African markets in 2009. Set up by Founder and Managing Director Joanna Maiden, the factory had been operating from Ukunda, Coast Providence. With increasing production orders, construction of the new factory at the Wildlife Works EPZ started earlier this year and Joanna’s team joined us in Maungu in June 2012.

Team SOKO in front of their new factory.

“It is an exciting time and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Wildlife Work’s fashion department,” says Joanna. “Moving to the EPZ will enable SOKO to grow further as well as offer employment to more people in the area and from further away.”

Since arriving in Maungu, SOKO has hired seven people for their production team, bringing the total employees to include 30 people from all over the country. In addition, 15 people were hired for a pilot embroidery program and trained in the skill of cross-stitching. The embroidery team completed 700 sample units which are currently being inspected in Belgium. Joanna hopes to get approval for further embroidery orders in the near future.

SOKO and Wildlife Works have worked collaboratively in the past years, producing highly sought-after fashion pieces. Our most famous client to date has been First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore a SOKO and Wildlife Works combination during her trip to Africa in 2010.

The importance of ethical fashion in the global marketplace cannot be understated. We’re glad to be working alongside SOKO in the production of sustainable style, and we will continue growing and innovating into the future.

Kasim the gardener creates works of living art

Kasim has been a gardener at the Wildlife Works Rukinga Sanctuary Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project for only a few months, but already his work speaks volumes.

Kasim is a true artist, blessed with an innate sense of beauty that allows him to create imaginative landscaping including fun, natural signage that create a warm welcome for staff members and visitors to the sanctuary.

The 47-year-old father of seven never got to finish his studies, due to lack of funds to pay school fees. He managed to get by, working security jobs at various institutions until he began working for Wildlife Works.

Kasim doesn’t let his lack of formal schooling interfere with his creativity. When he decided to spell out the word “carbon” in stones, he asked a friend to write the word on a piece of paper. Kasim them discreetly tucked away the paper and used it to copy the word into the ground.

Working at the Wildlife Sanctuary has taught Kasim the importance of trees to his country’s ecosystem and the need for sustainable jobs and better education for the people of Kenya.

Kasim feels moved to see the children in Rukinga progress with their studies. He said, “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow and if we let them waste away, our country will lack enough manpower for new innovations.”

Madam Colleta: Caring for the future of the community

One of the greatest comforts to a working mother is knowing that your child is safe and happy while you are away. No matter which corner of the globe you’re in, there is a constant need for affordable and reliable childcare. For Wildlife Works staff members in Rukinga, the free on-site preschool has been a blessing. Madam Colleta leads the team of 2 dedicated teachers who spend their days entertaining and educating 21 children aged 2-5 .

Madam Colleta has been with the Wildlife Works preschool since it opened in January, 2012. The widowed mother of three spends her days teaching and feeding young children, while simultaneously providing for her own family in Maugnu, the nearest town adjacent to Wildlife Works. The work schedule is ideal, she says, as it leaves her with enough time to cook and care for her own children once she gets home.

Madam Colleta also heads the allocation of Wildlife Works-sponsored scholarships in the Rukinga area. She is honored to be providing a helping hand that allows children from poor backgrounds to continue with their education.

The future looks bright as Madam Colleta contributes to the health, happiness and prosperity of Wildlife Works’ community! So here’s to Madam Colleta, for her dedicated work improving the lives of Rukinga’s children!

* * * * * * * * *

About Wildlife Works Carbon:

Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.

Over a 15 year history Wildlife Works established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets to protect threatened forests, wildlife, and communities.

The company helps local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals.

Save the kale: How one leafy green is changing lives

For some of us, eating vegetables is a chore. For others, it is a means of survival.

In Kenya, kale is referred to as “Sukuma wiki” which means “to stretch the week” in Swahili. The green leafy plant serves as a staple of the average person’s diet, especially for those living on less than a dollar per day.

During periods of drought, the demand for water becomes crucial for plant, animal and human use. Water shortages can cause food to become scarce, and what does reach the markets is priced exorbitantly high. The inflated prices leave families without enough food to feed everyone. In these desperate times, the youngest children are given highest priority and adults must manage with whatever is available.

This summer, the Wildlife Works’ greenhouse employees at our Kasigau Corridor REDD+ have devoted half an acre of land to planting spinach and kale to subsidize the shortage in community. The vegetables are being sold at cost and the orders are flying in!

According to a study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” eating a diet rich in vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer. Vitamin K is abundant in kale, but also found in parsley, spinach and collard greens. Our in-the-field writing intern Rose says we can credit the smiley nature of most Kenyans to the nutrition they derive from Sukuma Wiki.

We hope that the affordable produce provided by our greenhouse team can continue to improve the lives and diets of the entire community.

* * * * * * * * *

About Wildlife Works Carbon:

Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.

Over a 15 year history Wildlife Works established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets to protect threatened forests, wildlife, and communities.

The company helps local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals.

WHAT IS WILDLIFE WORKS?

Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.