The Lewa Education Programme (“LEP”) supports 18 government schools in the surrounding communities; Munanda, Mutunyi, Lewa, Kanyunga, Subuiga, Ntugi, Leparua, Ntalabany, Enaikishomi, JPP, Sang'a, Karimba, Rugusu, Ntumburi, Lokusero and Kilimani Primary Schools and Ngare Ndare and Ntugi day Secondary Schools. The aim of the LEP is to provide local children with educational opportunities, and to build awareness of wildlife conservation in Kenya.
Our holistic approach covers every aspect to offer the best possible education: infrastructure and curriculum, conservation education, feeding programme, bursaries, and adult literacy.
In order for local people to live in harmony with wildlife, conservation efforts must bring tangible benefits to the communities. The LEP in partnership with Lewa’s Research Department addresses this challenge, dispelling negative myths about wildlife through conservation education. We also demonstrate that wildlife has an inherent value and can create revenue for those who embrace it. Pupils come on an educational field trip and picnic in the Conservancy where they see animals such as the endangered black rhino and Grevy’s zebra.
Improving Lives One Classroom at a Time:
Due to the LEP’s progress, enrollment in our schools has skyrocketed in the surrounding communities.
Infrastructure: classrooms, kitchens and dining halls, pit latrines and teachers’ houses,libraries and laboratories
- We equip the above facilities with the necessary equipment for them to be fully functional eg chairs and desks for classrooms, tables and chairs for the dining halls, energy saving stoves for the kitchens
- In conjunction with the All Ntugi Group, we continue to encourage and support the group's efforts in providing computer skills outreach to school children
- We encourage the joy of reading by constructing libraries and equipping them with relevant reference materials
Curriculum: We supply donations of books, charts, posters, pencils, chalk, art materials and more.
- The LEP facilitates end-of-term exams for Standard seven and eight students and extra tutoring for students who need it
- Refresher courses are offered to teachers ranging from updating technological skills to getting a university degree
Meeting the Needs of Our Communities:
We believe all children should have opportunities for a better future regardless of their circumstances at home.
- We supply twelve schools (over 4,000 children) with porridge, maize, and beans for the year, attracting more children to school and helping increase their concentration
- Most of these communities depend on subsistence farming and are often only able to feed their families once a day
- Over 700 students in primary, secondary and tertiary education have received the LEP’s annual bursaries, and at least 75% graduate from university and college with outstanding academic results!
- At the end of term students are invited to the Conservancy to enjoy the fruits of their labour, discuss their progress, and witness the majestic wildlife that helped provide their bursaries
The LEP provides needs-based assistance to the many local pupils who have been orphaned by AIDS, or other illnesses and accidents; this includes food, clothing or education – in fact 72 of our bursary beneficiaries are orphans!
- This is a crucial poverty-reduction tool, promoting personal freedom and democracy for disadvantaged groups who thought opportunity had long passed them by!
- The LEP has seven centers for adult education offering two-hour classes every week to over 300 students
- Topics include: reading, writing, civil education, health, agriculture, business, vocational skills and income-generating projects, from handy-work to artesian crafts.
In recognizing that education is the keystone of peace and development, Lewa has achieved tremendous results, sparking other conservancies to follow our lead, and spread awareness about the value and importance of wildlife.
For more information on our Education Programme and to find out how you can help, please contact our Education Officer, Faith Riunga on email@example.com.
How the Lewa Education Programme Uses Donor Money
While the Kenyan government provides instructional and operational funds to public schools, which are controlled by the head teacher and his / her committee, any funding that comes through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to LEP is entirely controlled by Lewa. This includes funds for the feeding programme, construction of classrooms, kitchens, libraries, desks, and the provision of bursaries. The work is completed in liaison with the schools, but the schools themselves have no access to funds. We prepare quarterly financial reports for our donors with respect to any funding received which demonstrate how funds have been used. We do not have any control over public funds provided by the government, but we try to ensure that what we give to the schools supplements government funding and does not simply replace it - leaving the head with funds to spend on other activities.
Lewa believes that donor dependency can be crippling if recipients are not empowered and do not build sustainability. LEP works with schools to ensure they develop sustainable projects that will not depend on a endless flow of donor support. This sustainability programme is something we are rolling out in all the eight Lewa-Supported schools - but it’s a gradual process, and factors such as the availability of funds will determine our rate of progress.
We can assure any donors or potential donors that all funds received for the schools through LEP are well monitored. In addition to specific donor reports and due diligence by donors, Lewa is audited annually, and all funds have to be accounted for. LEP will be considering various performance indicators that might demonstrate the ongoing success of schools. This will provide an independent qualitative way to evaluate the programme. However, as LEP is committed to working with government schools, we cannot control or manage public funds allocated by the government – which are subject to audit by the government education office.
Pack for a Purpose
If you are traveling to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and want to help our Education Programme, please visit Pack for a Purpose®. Pack for a Purpose® is a nonprofit web site which provides information to enable travelers to bring requested supplies to lodgings which are sponsoring community projects. In five minutes, a traveler can go to the site, find the lodging and the requested supplies and see how to pack them. The underlying idea behind Pack for a Purpose® is that giving back to the communities a traveler visits is a great way to enhance a trip. Lewa is part of this programme and we have a detailed list of the needs of our schools and children are in and around Lewa.
To learn more about Pack for a Purpose®, watch this video on their website.