Fostering curiosity and a love of nature!
Our Maarifa House and Mazingira Library projects (‘maarifa’ is Swahili for knowledge and ‘mazingira’ translates to environment) are delivering fun and engaging learning spaces for students living near important wildlife areas in Maasai community Kenya. Spaces where children can explore the natural world in books and feed their thirst for knowledge while at the same time meeting the vital practical resource needs that were lacking in our project schools.
We have constructed two new learning spaces for our schools – a Mazingira Library at Kishermoruak Primary School and the new Maarifa House at Illoirero Primary School. These bright and colourful spaces will be filled with story and reference books about sustainable living, natural ecosystems, animals, plants and wild places of the world and how we can and must protect them – and why it is so important that we do.
These spaces will be strongly influenced by nature and traditional Maasai culture and will be learning hubs for students to read, dream and be inspired. They will be spaces for special events to engage with parents and the wider community and spaces where we invest in our future conservation stewards.
This Project has been delivered in a staged approach that has allowed students to start accessing learning resources from mid-2021.
By early 2022, the Kishermoruak Mazingira Library was officially opened and throughout the year it saw more furniture and books purchased and is now in daily use by the some 1000 students that attend this school, including the space where we hold our Mazingira Club Education for Conservation lessons.
By end of February 2023, the new Maarifa House completed construction. Designed with many sustainability features in mind, including raised and elevated roof lines to allow natural airflow and light, to harvest rainwater and one day be fitted with solar panels to power the building, building columns are made using recycled tyres and oil drums, feature bricks made using old plastic bottles and the pavers made from recycled plastic.