“The Earth is what we all have in common.” -Wendell Berry
By Richie Wachira – RVA Field Coordinator
Regardless of our day to day lives; our dreams, careers, passions and beliefs, we are bound to our environments more than we care to admit. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, our actions often have direct effect on our environment, which can either be positive or detrimental…
As part of our community outreach, we invited the Standard 8 students from Ethi Primary School for a day out to congratulate them for completing their primary school exams. They spent a day with Rift Valley Adventures, Rock Climbing at Ngare Ndare Conservancy, going on the Canopy Walk, Tree planting and reflecting on conservation efforts. The aim of this event was to emphasis important aspects of our environments, by raising awareness and engaging in critical thinking; identifying issues within our environment that are counterproductive, and thinking of solutions to these problems. And of course, having a well deserved fun day out!
Rock Climbing for Fun: One aspect of Environmental Education that is often missed is the therapeutic nature of nature. We set out for Rock Climbing that morning, not only to learn new skills and have novel experiences in the outdoors, but also to enjoy the time out in nature, to take in the scenery, and to visit a familiar place from a new perspective. Indeed, the levels of challenge, fear and excitement for these students begun to show as this activity started to take form in their minds.
Before long, we set out for the canopy walk; a 450m suspended walk way in Ngare Ndare Forest that is an excellent vantage point to see wildlife and enjoy nature. For visitors to the forest, this canopy walkway serves as a symbolic bridge from perhaps our sub-conscious levels of environmental impact, providing a sharp contrast of a healthy, serene environment as if to show possibilities of what it should all be like.
Back at Camp, we had a hot lunch as the students interacted amongst themselves. We crossed onto a global platform, watching the Award Winning efforts of the Akashinga (women) Rangers of Zimbabwe, and their efforts to conserve wildlife in the ZambeziValley ecosystem. The students sat in groups, reflecting on the general efforts they witnessed and relating this to their present day life and circumstances. We had students who aspired to be doctors, pilots and engineers in these groups, each one reflecting on how the environment played a role in their success, and also how they too had a role to play in their efforts to take care of the environment. To wrap up the day, students participated in tree planting around the camp – a step toward small efforts in conservation that will go a long way.
The day was over but the journey has just begun. We hope these students will go on to high school and further, with the courage and conviction to not only participate in conservation, but to advocate for it, to teach others about it, and maybe even become nationwide and worldwide ambassadors for the environment.
Asante sana to our partners at Ngare Ndare Forest who continuously support our community outreach….