Celebrating Kenya’s Environmental Champions: A Tribute to AFEW Participants

It is with immense joy and gratitude that we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the 2024 AFEW Kenya Environmental Awareness Competition. Your dedication, passion, and commitment to environmental stewardship have not only inspired us but have also contributed significantly to the preservation and conservation of our planet.

From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the serene landscapes of the Rift Valley, your collective efforts have undoubtedly made a profound impact on raising awareness about the importance of environmental sustainability. Whether through innovative projects, compelling artwork, or insightful essays, your creativity and enthusiasm have shone brightly, illuminating a path towards a greener and more sustainable future for Kenya and beyond.

As the competition came to a close on March 31st, we were truly overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of entries we received. Each submission was a testament to your unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the world around you. Your dedication to environmental conservation is not only commendable but serves as a beacon of hope for generations to come.

To all the participants, we offer our sincerest congratulations on your outstanding contributions. Your hard work and determination have not gone unnoticed. You are all winners in our eyes, and we are immensely proud of each and every one of you.

Now, as we eagerly anticipate the moment of celebration, we are thrilled to announce that the winners of the 2024 AFEW Kenya Environmental Awareness Competition will be feted on the 7th of June, 2024. This will be a day of recognition, appreciation, and celebration of your remarkable achievements. We cannot wait to honor your dedication and showcase your remarkable accomplishments to the world.

To those who emerged victorious, we extend our warmest congratulations. Your exemplary efforts have set a benchmark for environmental advocacy and activism. You are the trailblazers, the changemakers, and the guardians of our planet’s future. May your passion continue to ignite change and inspire others to join the noble cause of environmental conservation.

Commending the Victorious Participants of the 2023 AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre Annual Environmental Awareness Competition

We have had numerous environmental conservation programmes with the goal of altering mindsets throughout the last 40 years of The Giraffe Centre’s existence. These programmes are classified into three categories: funding, school programmes, and giraffe conservation.

The Annual Environmental Awareness Competition is one of the school programmes. This competition has been going on for 37 years. This competition seeks to provide students from Kenyan schools with an opportunity to express their opinions on environmental conservation based on a predetermined theme. They submit essays or artwork in response to level-specific questions. Students from Pre-school to Undergraduate can take part.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s give a round of applause to the outstanding winners of this year’s competition. These exceptional students truly shone among a pool of remarkable entries. Their compelling perspectives on the environmental conservation theme, “It Is Time for Change! Let’s Restore Our Mother Nature,” resonated powerfully.

Click here to get the list of winners

2022 AFEW KENYA ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETITION

Happy New Year. We hope and believe that you’ll have a successful year.

To start off, we have our annual competition up. The competition will be running from January 1st, 2022 to March 31st,2022.

The aim of the competition is to get students to engage in environmental conservation. The theme of the competition seeks to jog the students minds concerning current conservation issues and express them through either essays, drawing or an artistically taken photograph. The winners of the competition will get to visit some of the great conservation sites and organizations we have in Kenya.

To get the poster for the competition please click here

We wish you a prosperous 2022

NAMING GIRAFFES THE AFRICAN WAY

Literature on African Societies child naming ceremonies is quite fascinating. Mark Babatunde in his article titled 7 Most Fascinating Traditional African Baby Naming Ceremonies, describes the naming ceremony of a new baby among many African communities as one of the most important rites of passage in life as it announces the birth of a newborn, introduces the child to his or her extended family and the larger community, and above all, it confers on a child name.  According to the Sweet Mother International organization, birth and child naming are the very substance that weaves the thread, binding us into something larger than ourselves, towards which all of humanity gravitates.

Different African Sociology Scholars have described child birth and naming as joyful communal affairs, quite universal and persistent across generations. However, traditions vary with a given community, time and region. The two events have great significance for life perpetuation of the community in the future. As the new generation can offer that support to the old generation when they need support in old age. 

Giraffe naming process is not new at AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre as it started way back in 1979 at the time when the idea of saving the Rothschild’s giraffes from western Kenya was born. Betty Leslie Melville, the co-founder of AFEW Kenya named the first two young giraffes brought to their property in Lang’ata, Nairobi as Daisy and Marlon. Daisy was named after her favorite flower ‘Daisy” which grew abundantly within her home compound. From 1979 – 2017, all giraffes born or brought to Giraffe Centre were given names of people from different parts of the world who in one way or another have made a major contribution to AFEW’s conservation work. 

However, from 2017 this naming process was changed in favour of adopting a universal giraffe naming system. The new naming system use Kiswahili names of flowers and trees.  With the adoption of the new naming system, female giraffes are named after flowers while male giraffes are named after trees to represent their femininity and masculinity nature respectively. Active involvement of the general public has been at the core of this process. Members of general public are allowed to suggest or choose their most preferred giraffe name through AFEW’s social media platforms.

Just like in traditional African society, when a child is born, midwife normally announces the birth of the newborn child to the larger community. In most instances, the parents hold celebrations in appreciation to the creator for the gift of a newborn. Many people in the community including relatives, friends and neighbors will from time to time come to celebrate and rejoice with the family. They also bring different gifts for the mother and newborn child. Offering gifts to the newborn is done among African communities as a way of showing love, friendship and blessings to the child, mother and community

AFEW – Giraffe Centre would like to invite the general public in the virtual naming of three female giraffe calves. This event will be held on Monday, June 21st, 2021 as part of commemorating the World Giraffe Day which is normally marked every year on June 21st. Feel free to follow the link below and join us in celebrating these giraffe calves. We would also like to appeal to the general public to make financial contributions as gifts towards celebrating milestones made towards saving Rothschild’s giraffe from silent extinction. Send contributions of at least KShs.1000 equivalent to USD 10 towards this worth cause. All proceeds will go towards giraffe welfare management and eventual return to the wild of the young giraffes once they attain the recommended giraffe translocation age by Kenya Wildlife Service.

Why should you participate in this giraffe naming programme?

  1. You will receive acknowledgement for your support/contribution with your name appearing on the list of sponsors during the naming ceremony.
  2. You will receive regular updates of the named giraffes from AFEW Kenya.
  3. You will be invited to witness the eventual translocation of the same giraffes from the Giraffe Centre to a selected suitable habitat as part of the reintroduction back to the world to increase the natural population of Rothschild’s giraffes in Kenya.

To support the conservation of the Rothschild Giraffe, use this link to the platform to use for sending your contribution.

https://www.giraffecentretickets.co.ke/donation

References

2020 AFEW Competition Essay Entry by Ms. Shirley Kemuma Magabi

Happy new year to everyone. Annually, AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre hosts an Environmental competition for Kenyan students. This competition runs from January 1st to March 31st. Last year, 2020, we did host as usual. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to unavoidable conditions.

We are grateful, however, for the students who were able to submit their entries for the same. So we will be posting them on our website.

The first article we are posting is by Ms. Shirley Kemuma Magabi

 Click on the 2020 Competition theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy Biodiversity, Healthy People” to read her thoughts.

Everything goes

One’s poison is another’s food. That thing that seems small, useless to you means the world to another. The psalmist in one of his psalms would note this as he explains how everything means something to someone. He’d give an example with the water streams and towers, how from the rocks to the leaves need water.

CEO Giving students seedlings

I experienced this phenomenon with a cypress tree. Before you get up in arms with a claim on deforestation, it fell on its own on my neighbor’s vegetation and the tree was his. It was interesting how each person who saw the tree would envision it.

A carpenter saw frames for their creative ideas, a brick entrepreneur saw firewood for drying bricks, so on and forth.

There is a group, however, that interested me. They were keen to check for the hollow part of the stem. Why? If you ask me, it seems like they are missing a full part of the donut. Who in their right mind would go for the space between a donut. These guys would and they did.

One of the guys, just by knocking on one side of the cut trunk and knew it had honey in plenty. Apparently, in the olden days, that honey was the medicine for cold and flu. These guys didn’t just come here to look for materials for income, also for health from the cypress tree.

The only way these guys would have known this secret is if they were taught by their society members. By this simple secret, they have made a habit of growing trees with a sole purpose of honey where they’ll let them grow old, then fall on their own volition and hope for a bumper harvest of wood, sawdust, firewood and most important, honey.

Kelly’s Fifth Born

Good day today it is. It’s not normal to witness a new born Giraffe Calf.

But this is no ordinary birth. Kelly is a legend already, this is her 5th born calf. Normally, giraffe’s gestation period is 15 months, but Kelly here did 17 months. That’s two whole months extra. Giraffes do this when they feel like the environment they are in is not conducive for giving birth. In this case, this would probably be because of the delayed rainy season.

So giraffes too are thrilled for the rain. Congratulation to Kelly.