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Justice for Wildlife
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  WILDLIFE TRACKS                                                                 Issue No. 02  

Dear Friends, Partners and Supporters,
This year has started on a dark note for the communities in Amboseli that live with wildlife as Kenya is facing an extreme drought. The cattle have been taken to far away pastures leaving women and children with very little. At times like this everyone suffers, and the drought affects wildlife as well. Human wildlife conflict inevitably rises further aggravating the problem. At this time of extreme hardship we must do more to help. Please consider supporting our work, which aims to keep children in school despite the drought. We are exploring starting a short-term feeding program, and a long-term sustainable solution to human wildlife conflict through empowering women. If you would like to help please alleviate this crisis, please write to our CEO at paula@wildlifedirect.org

As always, we love to hear from you so please take a moment to share your thoughts with us on some of the stories that you enjoyed reading the most.

Princeton Course on Community Service kicks off in Amboseli

Students from Princeton and Columbia Universities at Siana boma for Oltome Nadupo Women Group Company
 
Princeton and Columbia University's Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Departments field course in Kenya is a semester abroad during which Paula Kahumbu teaches the module on Community Conservation in Amboseli from 23rd February to 8th March. 

This year, the class is joined by Kenyan students Dedan Kimathi University/ (DKU), Nairobi University, Kenya Technical University, Gearbox and staff of WildlifeDirect and Mpala Ranch to test innovations to solve human elephant conflict and to explore how women can make a difference for conservation in this arid environment that is currently facing an extremely severe drought.

During the course students met Kenneth Ole Nashu, the Senior Warden at Amboseli National Park who opened the course with a presentation on the history of the park, the challenges and mitigation measures that have been put in place to ensure that people and wildlife coexist peacefully in the Amboseli ecosystem.  

Students also heard from Vicky Fishlock at the Amboseli Elephant Trust on elephant research, Big Life Foundation on education and human wildlife conflict, primary schools, farmers and women from Oltome Nadupo Women Group Company. The students are working on projects related to addressing human elephant conflict in farms around the Amboseli Park. In our next update we will share their findings. 
 

WildlifeDirect host students from China

Robert Kaai, Community Project Officer, briefs the Chinese students on the Community Project that is empowering women living with elephants

On February 10, WildlifeDirect hosted a team of eight Chinese students.
 
The students met with WildlifeDirect staff and learnt about the organization’s programs; the Eyes in the Courtroom project, community project, Education and Outreach, NTV Wild and Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign.
 
They also shared their aspirations and appreciated the opportunity to learn about conserving elephants promising to take the message back to their peers in China. Hongxian Huang, the CEO of China House, accompanied the students.
Oltome Nadupo Women visit SHOFCO & Flexi Biogas in Nairobi
Joyce Ntiati, a member of Oltome Nadupo Women Group and the team from Imbirikani meet with Dominic from Flexi Biogas Solutions

A group of women from the Oltome Nadupo Women Group Company visited Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) Kibera School for Girls, a private school based in the heart of Kibera slums. They also visited Flexi Biogas in Nairobi on 13th February to learn about best practices that they can implement in their own project. 

At SHOFCO, the Oltome women had the opportunity to learn the school’s excellence model and feeding program and how they could implement a similar program at Enkijape, a public primary school with
over 750 students including 25 who are deaf. Despite challenges, Joyce Ntiati the head teacher at Enkijape and a member of Oltome Nadupo Women Group felt inspired and stated, “Here we have one teacher for every 70 pupils while at SHOFCO the ratio of teachers to children is 1:20 learners.  Our children walk for up to 7 km to get to school. We would like to emulate SHOFCO’s model and believe that if we have enough trained teachers and a feeding program, the school performance would improve.”


Pupils from Enkijape Primary School

WildlifeDirect is exploring how to help the Enkijape School where most of our women groups’ children learn. If you would like to learn more about the program email info@wildlifedirect.org.   

We welcome donations to support this work: click here.

Eyes in the Courtroom Project 

Jim Karani, Legal Affairs Manager, meets with the legal interns to go over court cases monitored in February

Jim Karani, Legal Affairs Manager, met with Leila Straus, one of our key donors and trustee of the Straus Family Foundation in Nairobi. Jim shared with Leila the progress that WildlifeDirect has made through the Eyes in the Courtroom project. We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Leila Straus and The Straus Family Foundation for contributing to the Eyes in the Courtroom project. We cannot adequately convey how much we appreciate your support.

The legal team at WildlifeDirect visited a number of courts with ongoing wildlife crime cases to monitor how they are being handled. A report on the trends and outcome of cases will be launched in April. 

Testing the Swahili version of the Wildlife Act Guide Book

Liz Macharia presents the Swahili version of the Wildlife Act Guide Book
Liz Macharia takes the participants through the Swahili version
WildlifeDirect representatives Liz Macharia and Irene Akinyi pretested the Kiswahili version of the Guide Book to the Wildlife Act at a workshop organized by Friends of Masai Mara organization and Nature Kenya. The workshop brought together tour guides, researchers and members of organizations working in wildlife areas.

Masai Mara was recently identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and Nature Kenya was visiting the area to create and increase awareness of the IBA concept. WildlifeDirect was able to pretest the Swahili guidebook to the 20 participants present and received feedback on the draft.

NTV Wild Television Program

NTV Wild Talk team on location in Watamu with KWS and WildlifeDirect team
 
It was to the beach for the NTV Wild crew who filmed seven exciting episodes on elephants, snakes, dolphins and quarry rehabilitation work.

During the visit to Watamu, our Education and Outreach team showed selected NTV Wild Talk episodes and conservation films to over 80 pupils from Kanani and Watamu primary schools. We would like to extend our appreciation to all our tourism partners who have continued to support the NTV Wild talk by offering prizes for the Wild Guess segment. In February, prizes to our viewers came from Sarova Salt Lick Lodge, Superior Hotels, Shiangiki Spa and Twiga House.


  
Vincent speaks with school children from Watamu during the NTV Wild Talk shoot

You can view recent episodes of NTV WildTalk here. 
 

Hidden Figures Premier 

Dr. Paula Kahumbu (Right) and Robin Emmerson join pupils from SHOFCO at the premiere of
Hidden Figures

 
WildlifeDirect CEO spoke at the premier of Hidden Figures, a movie about the lives of three women who worked at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The screening was sponsored by Women in Real Estate (WIRED). From the expressions on their faces the film may have changed the lives of 700 schoolgirls from Nairobi, as well as ours (the entire WildlifeDirect team attended the premiere). To Robyn Emmerson and everyone at WIRED, Asante sana for inviting us to participate, you are such an inspiration. 

How Can You Help?

  • Donate to support our Outreach and Education, Legal or Community programs
  • Join WildlifeDirect as an intern or volunteer
  • Become an NTV Wild Ambassador
  • Join the #NameThemSaveThem campaign
  • Share this newsletter and invite your friends to sign up for it
We would be humbled if you would become a donor for our extraordinary projects. For more information about how to donate click here. Every penny received goes into ensuring justice for wildlife.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paula Kahumbu
CEO, WildlifeDirect

 
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