Kileva Eastfield Primary School is thrilled to announce the construction of its new classroom, thanks to proceeds from their conservation efforts. The stone and iron structure is able to accommodate 40 students, and was built using funds from the sale of carbon credits in the Kasigau REDD+ Project.
The new construction is especially welcomed by school-going children, who previously walked up to 6 km to access neighboring primary schools. This long trek was through wildlife-dense landscape and made even more treacherous by the early morning hours in which the children were traveling. Apart from being dangerous for pupils, the frequent journey between villages was a source of constant conflict between humans and wildlife.
According to Johnstone Mwamondo, a manager at the Sagalla Conservation and Development Forum, the construction of the classroom is a major step towards the completion of the school as a whole, which currently admits students up to Standard Six (equivalent to 6th grade in the US).
“We, the people of Kileva, are proud of the achievement. It is through hard work conserving forests that the new classroom has been constructed. We trust that through continued conservation of our forested areas, we will be able to implement even more projects like this,” says Mr. Mwamondo.
The Kileva community borders Sagalla and Mgeno Ranches, which the community works to protect from deforestation and degradation under the REDD+ Project. This is a bold, but vital, step for a community that has been extremely reliant on the surrounding land for its livelihood. Upon the realization that their activities on the land were both illegal and unsustainable, the community agreed to join Wildlife Works and help with their conservation efforts.
After two years of being part of the REDD+ Project, the community knows first hand the benefits of conservation. Apart from the Kileva Eastfield Primary School, there have been several other projects launched and completed in the greater Sagalla area, such as the construction of classrooms in several other schools including Kajire Secondary School, Mwambiti Primary School, and Mchange Pre-school.
Furthermore, after receiving payments from the selling of carbon credits, a community based organization and locational carbon committee agreed to set aside more than $11,000 for the construction of classrooms at the aforementioned schools. They were also able to disburse scholarships to the most vulnerable children in the community through Wildlife Works Carbon Trust Fund. So far, more than 610 students have received scholarships covering part of school tuition and 9 have received full scholarships. In total, the community has spent $53,658 on scholarships and sponsorship.
There is no doubt that Kileva has a bright future, thanks to their decision to to enrich the land around them. Their children have a better chance at education, and their community is more sustainable. We hope our legacy can continue in more African communities so there can be more emphasis on conservation and making Kenya a better place for future generations.