The Mazingira Club 'Education for Conservation' Program

We currently have 120 students actively engaged in our Mazingira ClubEducation for Conservation‘ Program. The curriculum involves a mix of in-class lessons, outdoor activities and field trips that address locally-relevant conservation learning and skill development aimed at empowering students to take care of wildlife, habitats and the ecosystem services they provide. Lessons are taught by our locally employed Maarifa Educators who visit the schools weekly to deliver these sessions.  Each year a new cohort of 30 students from each school is selected to join the two-year program.  At the end of the two years, students graduate as the school environmental leaders and actively participate and lead small sustainability projects at the school and mentor other students.

Lesson 1: Amboseli & Mara Ecosystems

Lesson 1 introduces students to the ecological significance of their local ecosystem where they live and highlights some of the major natural values and the benefits of protecting their unique biodiversity. Students from the Illoirero Primary School learn about the Amboseli Ecosystem, while the Mara Ecosystem lesson is delivered to students from Kishermoruak Primary School

Topics covered include: 
  • Introduction to ecology and conservation biology 
  • The Amboseli and Mara ecosystems

Lesson 2: Threatened Species

Lesson 2 educates students about the threats facing wildlife in their area and the challenges surrounding conservation action and solutions. At Illoirero Primary School we focus a lot on elephants and introduce students to the term ‘key stone species’. At Kishermoruak, we talk a lot about lions and their role in the ecosystem and why they are too also under threat. Rhino are no longer found in Amboseli and very very few are left in the Mara – the ‘why’ is discussed in great detail.

  • Why species become threatened
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Conservation solutions and success stories

Did you know lions have disappeared from over 90% of their original range?

Did you know that in our first year of teaching this lesson, some students at Illoirero Primary School did not believe there was such animal as a rhino? To them they were like unicorns – because only ever seen a picture but did not think they really existed.

Lesson 3 - 4: Storytime & Discussion (Ole Peenko's Journey)

In Lessons 3 and 4, students will read Ole Peenko’s Journey, written by Kenya Wildlife Trust. This book contains fictional stories focusing on the real life conservation challenge of human-wildlife conflict. Due to location, students in our Mara school are also visited by a human-wildlife conflict management officer from Mara Predator Conservation Program who reads with the students and discusses the messages portrayed in the book.   

Lesson 5: Fences & Wildlife Movement

Fencing and land subdivision has become a common, yet unfortunate side effect of increasing population pressures. Too much fencing and use of inappropriate styled fencing, has seen a spike in injuries to wildlife and significant disruptions to natural wildlife movement.
But not all fencing is bad. Some fences keep keep animals off roads, some keep threatened species safe. In this lesson we illustrate how fencing is used well in conservation, and also discuss the innovative alternatives that can be used where traditional fencing is not the best option and should be avoided.

Lesson 6: Traces & Tracking

The Maasai have been tracing and tracking the animals in their ecosystems for hundreds of years and it’s important that students today continue to retain and share this knowledge of the wildlife around them. Tracking provides crucial information on the presence and movement of wildlife in an area. Lesson 6 integrates local knowledge with a practical approach so students have the tools to acknowledge and read the environment around them. 

Topics include: 
  • Why do we track?
  • How to track 
  • Local examples

Lesson 7: Natural Resources

Lesson 7 introduces students to the foundational concepts of natural resources and how these resources are affected in their areas by human activity. Pertinent threats to Amboseli and the Mara’s natural resources include land use change, overpopulation and the illegal wildlife trade. 
  • What are natural resources?
  • Threats to natural resources
  • Introduction to sustainability

Lesson 8: Climate Change

Climate change is a complex and multifaceted topic, subject to global discussion and deliberation. Lesson 8 aims to introduce this topic to students with a focus on how it will impact their areas, livelihoods and local wildlife. Students also learn about the ripple effects that occur as a result of climate change and how we, as individuals can reduce our impact to anthropogenic global warming. Lesson 8 also explains the significance of reducing waste and pollution and how this can increase the resilience of both local communities and ecosystems. 
  • Climate change in Amboseli & Mara ecosystems
  • Waste and pollution
  • Reducing the impacts of climate change 
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