Maarifa Schools Initiative

Our grass roots conservation program, for students from Australia and Kenya, is focused on three primary principles: Share; Experience; Action! We aim to inspire a future generation of conservation-minded citizens and sustainable communities.

Education for Conservation

Cultivating a passion for wildlife and wild places 
 
Our suite of Education for Conservation activities and deliverables such as in class lessons, field trips, recycling programs and the building of environmental libraries help people and planet. Our unique global ‘twinning’ program connects students from Kenya with Australian students, who we are also working with to meet their own local environmental goals, in learning exchange opportunities. We pride ourselves in our ‘paying it forward’ model as a way for Australian students to easily and actively help their Kenyan classmates.
 
Our programs focus on recycling, sustainable living, conservation of native flora and fauna and being good global citizens.
 

About our Kenya Schools

Illoirero Primary School Selenkay Conservancy is 15,000 acres in the Amboseli Ecosystem and home to elephant, giraffe, gerenuk, zebras, lion, leopard and over 300 bird species. It was established over 25 years ago as an agreement between Gamewatchers Safaris and the Eselenkei Group Ranch maasai community and provides vital ecological support to Amboseli National Park. To help foster an on-going commitment to the local environment, we are delivering an education for conservation program and support initiatives for students at Iloirero Primary School. In 2021, we have already paid school fees for the year for 25 students identified as most in need and provided new uniforms and shoes, and a solar light so they can study after dark. We are also committed to building them a library space with new books and taking a group of students to Amboseli National Park. Our tailored Education for Conservation Program is set to kick off very soon as well!

Twinning School: Upper Mount Gravatt Primary School (Queensland, Australia)

Kishermoruak Primary School Located near Ol Kinyei Conservancy, a 17,500 acre wildlife haven in the Mara Ecosystem, is Kishermoruak Primary School for 696 students. Here we will deliver our Education for Conservation Program – specifically developed for the local area, build a library space and fill it with books and offer a trip for students to Masai Mara National Reserve. 

Twinning School: Upper Coomera State College (Queensland, Australia)

Scroll down for activities and events..

Share

Sharing knowledge with like-minded students in other cultures

Experience

Participate in experiences otherwise not possible

Action

Taking simple, direct action for immediate and future positive impact

NEW! Mazingira Libraries

To cultivate knowledge and passion for the environment, we are constructing library spaces filled with books at Illoirero and Kishermoruak Primary Schools. These fun and engaging spaces will be a place for students to come and read, explore, dream and be inspired.
Can you help give the gift of knowledge?
- $50 buys 3 books with your name inside the covers;
- $250 donates a whole shelf of books with a sponsor engraved name plate;
- $1000 gifts an entire wall of books with a sponsor engraved name plaque

Getting Back to Class in 2021

Assistance in paying school fees will help ensure children can receive a proper education and to facilitate a passion for wildlife and conservation. $40 AUD can cover a child’s school fees for a year! Eligibility criteria ensures assistance goes to those who need it most.

Schools Twinning Program

The twinning project connects a small number of schools in Kenya and Australia. Global classmates will share stories about each others’ wildlife and culture and participate in small on-ground conservation projects coordinated by The Foundation and its partners.
Upper Coomera State College in QLD, Australia is currently working with Kishermoruak Primary School as part of their Community and Global Citizenship Studies, and Upper Mount Gravatt State School in QLD Australia is twinned with Illoirero Primary School and is focused on wildlife conservation and local actions.

Mazingira Club and the Education for Conservation Program

30 students from each of the Kenya twinning school are participating in the school environment club - Mazingira Club. The Mazingira Club program is assisting to develop young environmental leaders in the community. Students are actively involved in local expert-led sessions about wildlife and conservation, as well as partaking in fun, engaging environmental initiatives, including small on-ground school projects, excursions and networking with other local schools as part of our tailored Education for Conservation Program.

Amboseli and Mara Experience

Children from Iloirero Primary School (Kajiado) live within just a 2 hour drive from Amboseli National Park, and its about the same distance for students at Kishermoruak Primary school (Narok) to Masai Mara National Reserve. But even though they live so close to these world famous parks, they have never, and may never, have the means to visit these wildlife havens. An excursion for the Mazingira Club students is an experience that will have life long consequences. This trip celebrates their year long involvement as active Mazingira Club members and visiting these special biodiverse places is a chance to see why conservation is just so important

School Recycling

Schools in Australia can join The Maarifa Orange Army to participate in a hands on recycling program. Recycling of bottles, poppers and cans will not only improve the local environment and teach the students valuable lessons in sustainability, resources management and environmental protection, but will also raise money to pay school fees, purchase solar lights and buy books for vulnerable children in Kenya. The recycling school will learn-through-doing the importance of recycling and reducing waste, and also provides a means to help support their global class mates. The Australian school will be rewarded for their efforts with unique environmental ‘experiences’ as they reach recycling goals. This might include special guest presenters and activities coordinated by the Foundation.

Orange Army Recycling Program

Recycling 10c eligible containers is core to our revenue raising and is something we can all get involved in.... Contact us to find out how you can help the environment and contribute to education by joining our ever expanding Orange Army. Options include contacting us for Maarifa drop off locations, make the deposit at an Envirobank drop off location near you and register your deposit straight to our Containers for Change Scheme ID C10283614 (QLD recyclers only), or make a donation to us using your earnings.

Learning Focus Areas

Conservation Action in the Urban Environment

 Good Global Citizens and Cultural Awareness

2021/22 Program For Australian Schools and Teachers

– Contact us for a copy of our school info pack or to tailor a program just for you – 

Orange Army Recycling

  • Assist in setting up a whole of school recycling station. 10c eligible recyclable containers are collected by the school in provided bags, bins or cages and collection arranged.
  • Provision of recycling education material which is prepared inline with the set education department curriculum.
  • Assistance with whole of school or class only recycling challenges. This activity has potential to align with different learning objectives including environmental, business, project and event management skill development.

Cultural Exchange

  • Twinning with classes at appropriate age and development in Kenya. Share letters and video messages with children from Kenya, learning about each others’ culture, wildlife and habitats. This is fully facilitated by The Maarifa Foundation with its people on the ground here in Australia and Kenya.
  • Philanthropic projects and actions to provide support for schools and communities in need, such as helping to fund kitchen gardens, purchase books or funding other activities.
  • Study tour opportunities for senior high school and university students to visit the schools in Kenya and see first-hand community-based conservation in action.

In-class conservation focussed learning

  • Special guest presentations on relevant aspects of environmental education including recycling, waste management and pollution reduction, threatened species, in particular koala conservation, and creating habitat for wildlife with subject materials linked to the Australian curriculum.

On-ground conservation activities

  • Coordinating tree planting and habitat rehabilitation activities on schools grounds or on public land.
  • Installation of nest boxes and development of a student nest-box monitoring program.

Field Excursions

  • Coordinated field excursions to wildlife institutions including Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or visit to nature reserve or National Park to search for koalas in the wild. These tours led by qualified wildlife experts.

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