By Jane Okoth
A famous proverb once said, “A child without education is like a bird without wings”. Wildlife Works, the world’s leading REDD+ project development and management company, is committed to ensuring every young deserving student in the Kasigau Corridor communities has access to education. As part of its REDD+ project, Wildlife Works has awarded over $368,000 in scholarship money to students in the project area.
These students who come from orphaned or single parent families, receive the funding through the income made from selling carbon credits in consultation with the community.
Recently, as part of its wider distribution of bursary funds, Wildlife Works visited Kasigau and Marungu locations to present cheques to the Head teachers for students’ bursaries within their school. The first stop was Moi Boys High School in Kasigau where the school was presented with an amount totaling KSh 121,500 (~$1,200). Joseph Mwakima, Wildlife Works’ Community Relations Officer officially handed the cheque to Mr. Laban Mwangemi, the school Principal. Unable to contain his excitement as he received the bursary income, Mr. Mwangemi explained how this support from Wildlife Works would enable most students to continue with their education.
“I am very thankful to Wildlife Works for their support. This help could not have come at a better time because majority of the students had been sent home to collect fees. This will enable them to come back to school and continue with their education.” he said.
Next stop was Kasigau Girls’ Secondary School where a cheque of KSh 154,500 (~$1,500) was presented. The school seemed emptier than usual with fewer students in class. Mishi Mbogho, the School Principal explained that most of the students had lots of fee arrears prompting the administration to send them home. “Now with the bursary support from Wildlife Works, they will be able to resume classes immediately. When the students are sent home for money, they miss most of the classes and fail to catch up with the rest leading to poor performance. I am happy that Wildlife Works has intervened,” she says.
Also on the list of beneficiaries was Buguta Secondary School where Shadrack Kyalo, the school Principal received a cheque of KSh 586,600 (~$5,800). Lastly, Marungu Secondary School was presented with a cheque of KSh 464,400 (~$4,600). The Principal Mr. Daniel Mwangi expressed gratitude for the gesture and said that the bursary would serve as a motivation for students to perform well in school. “Students will be at peace in class and get good grades if they know that Wildlife Works is taking care of their education,” he says.
This is just one of the many days Wildlife Works team has been distributing the cheques to various schools, polytechnics and universities. The total number of beneficiaries was 2,906 students with 139 students going to universities, 185 going to college, 90 to polytechnics and 2,487 students in secondary schools. Five students living with disabilities also benefitted from the award. The beneficiaries were selected across the 6 different locations within the project area.
John Wambua, a 16-year-old student in Form 3 at Moi Boys High School in Kasigau expressed his excitement about the support Wildlife Works has been giving to schools.
“We are thankful to Wildlife Works because the bursaries are going to sustain us in school throughout the tuition duration,” he says.
In Kenya, poverty can hold back education but with the help of Wildlife Works, students like John can see a bright future.