Wildlife Works runs a program of education initiatives for youth within our Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project area. We strongly believe that children are ambassadors for change and for environmental stewardship and we work hard to empower them to do so.
One of the programs we run is a series of motivational speakers that deliver talks to local students. They are individuals from the community who have an inspiring story to tell and lessons to share with youth.
A motivational talk given under a neem tree at Marungu Primary School
Since starting in 2014, we have held motivational talks at 16 schools, reaching well over 1,000 students. The aim is to inspire a new generation of kids to work hard, pursue education and to raise themselves out of poverty.
The Kasigau area has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Kenya, and impoverished local people have little alternative than to turn to the land for survival. With education, people have access to more opportunities and, with awareness, can make informed choices that do not degrade their environment.
Apolinari Mwakulomba is one of our speakers. He is a successful businessman originally from a very humble background within the Kasigau region. During one of his motivational talks at Marungu Primary School, he recounted how he used to walk very long distances to school, but that with hard work he managed to attend a national (more exclusive) school and raise himself out of his situation.
Apolinari Mwakulomba questioning student during a talk at Marungu Primary School
Apolinari encouraged the students to set goals for their lives. He asked them, “What do you want to be?” One young boy stood up in the crowd and answered in English, “I want to be a pilot.”
“Are you good at mathematics?”
“Are you good at science?”
“Then congratulate yourself. If you want to be anything, work hard and you can do it. If you set yourself goals, you have the motivation to work hard.”
Marungu Primary School students listening keenly to a motivational talk
Accompanying the motivational community speakers, a member of Wildlife Works’ Community Relations Department, Protus Mghendi, gives a talk about the importance of environmental conservation and the value of nature.
The motivational talks are part of a wider program to raise awareness and enthusiasm for environmental and conservation issues. The highest performing students from the schools visited are offered the opportunity to visit the Wildlife Works site for a tour of the operations, including eco-factory and greenhouse, as well as attend a game drive to spot wildlife. Read about this program here.