Maarifa Projects

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 in Kenya

Cultivating a passion for wildlife and wild places 
 
Our program of tailored Education for Conservation activities and sustainability projects aim to improve livelihoods through sustainable living and protection of the natural environment. Empowering students with knowledge and opportunity, we cultivate a genuine passion for the environment. By facilitating conservation, we enhance the livelihoods of the students and their families, which in turn helps wildlife and protects habitat. 
 
Our program focus on recycling, sustainable living, conservation of native flora and fauna and being good global citizens.
 

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.

Kishermoruak Primary School has 696 students and is within the Ol Kinyei Group Ranch. It is located on the borders of Ol Kinyei Conservancy, a 17,500 acre wildlife haven, known for its big cats and vital for the Loita Migration. The conservancy is part of the Mara ecosystem and within a short drive to the Masai Mara National Reserve, renowned spot for witnessing the annual Great Migration.

Our focus projects in Kenya

We implement school-based sustainability projects that allow students to put knowledge into action.
- Education for Conservation in-class curriculum
- Development of Maarifa educators within the community (employment and training)
- Mazingira Library Spaces and Learning Hubs
- Sustainable kitchen gardens
- Water tanks and solar panels
- Native tree planting and small-scale habitat regeneration

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

In Kenya

Access to Education

Assistance in paying school fees will help ensure children can receive a proper education and to facilitate a passion for wildlife and conservation. For many families, the basics including school fees is a struggle, and often the decision has to be made of which of their children, if any, they can afford to send to school - and for how long. Our sponsorship program aims to ease this burden and allow education opportunity for more kids in these remote wilderness areas of Kenya. We currently have 25 students sponsored in 2021. Each with school fees paid, a new school uniform and shoes and provided a solar light each to assist with their studies. In 2022, our goal is to double the number of students we can sponsor. Eligibility criteria ensures assistance goes to those who need it most, with a focus on also ensuring girls are given equal opportunity.

Mazingira Club and the Education for Conservation Program

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.

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 are places for students to come and read, explore, dream and be inspired.

Click image to find out more...

Amboseli and Mara Wildlife Experiences

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 and live right on the boundaries of the community conservancies. But even though they live so close to these world famous parks and conservation areas 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. These trips celebrate their involvement as active Mazingira Club members and visiting these special biodiverse places is a chance to see why conservation is just so important.

In Australia

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.

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.

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 – 

Click for access to our Knowledge Hub

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.

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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.

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Conservation focussed learning incursions

  • 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.

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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.

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The Maarifa Foundation 2020 

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