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.

Unleash Your Creativity: Join the “Think Green Go Green for a Better Future” Essay and Art Competition!

Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey of creativity and environmental consciousness? The Giraffe Centre invites you to participate in our eagerly awaited essay and art competition, themed “Think Green Go Green for a Better Future.” This is not just a chance to showcase your talents but an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Competition Details:

Theme: Think Green Go Green for a Better Future
Submission Period: January 1st to March 31st
Categories: Essay and Art
Prizes: The winners will embark on a one-week fully paid Safari adventure!

How to Participate:

1. Choose Your Medium: Whether you’re a wordsmith or an artist, this competition caters to both! Craft an essay or create a captivating piece of art that aligns with the theme.

2. Express Your Vision: Dive deep into the theme and express your vision for a sustainable future. What does it mean to “Think Green” and “Go Green” in your eyes? Your unique perspective could make a significant impact!

3. Submit Your Entry: Send in your masterpiece between January 1st and March 31st. Details on submission methods and guidelines can be found on the competition poster.

Why Participate?

1. Environmental Impact: Your thoughts and creativity can inspire change. By participating, you become an advocate for a greener and healthier planet.

2. Skill Enhancement: Sharpen your writing and artistic skills under the theme of environmental sustainability.

3. Adventure Awaits: Imagine yourself on a one-week fully paid Safari, surrounded by the beauty of nature. The winners of the competition will experience this unforgettable journey.

Hosted by Giraffe Centre:

The Giraffe Centre is dedicated to environmental education and conservation. By hosting this competition, we aim to nurture the talents of Kenyan youth while fostering a deep appreciation for our planet’s well-being.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make a difference while showcasing your creativity! Let your imagination run wild as you “Think Green” and “Go Green” for a better future.

Visit our website for more details on how to participate, submission guidelines, and updates on the competition. Together, let’s create a future where sustainability is at the heart of our actions.

Join us in the journey towards a greener, brighter tomorrow!

Bird Ringing at Giraffe Centre: A Growing Legacy

For two consecutive days, the Giraffe Centre proudly hosted an esteemed event – the practice of bird ringing. This event unfolded on the 27th and 28th of October 2023, garnering extensive support and endorsement from a consortium of organizations, including Nature Kenya, the Conservation Education and Tourism Department affiliated with the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, and the Nairobi Bird Ringing Group.

The event drew a diverse audience, with eager students and youth members all sharing a common enthusiasm for gaining insights into the world of bird ringing and birds in general. This collaborative endeavor held a dual purpose: firstly, to establish a foundational understanding of the vibrant birdlife across the expansive 120-acre sanctuary, encompassing its diverse habitats. Secondly, it aimed to empower the next generation of citizen scientists by imparting knowledge and skills in the realm of birds, birding, and the practice of bird ringing.

This marked the second occurrence of the bird ringing event at the Giraffe Centre. For insights into the first event, including its discoveries and outcomes, please click here.

Banding Together with Birds: The Spectacular Results of our Giraffe Centre Ringing Expedition

Despite the inclement weather that tempered our expectations, our bird ringing exercise yielded remarkable results. We managed to capture 36 birds, representing 18 distinct species. This diverse assortment of avian treasures showcased the incredible biodiversity thriving within the Giraffe Centre sanctuary.

Among the feathered gems we had the privilege of netting and ringing, there was the elusive Tropical Boubou, gracing us with its presence from the upper scrub areas. Closer to the Centre, in the lower wooded regions, we encountered the delightful White Starred Robin, its distinctive presence adding a touch of enchantment to our day.

Our list of ringed species extended to include the Tawny Flanked Prinias, melodic Singing Cisticolas, the charming Ruppell’s Robin Chat, industrious Village and Spectacled Weavers, the elegant White-Eyed Slaty Flycatchers, and the ever-present Common Bulbul. Each bird told a unique story, a tale of life within this remarkable habitat.

Notably, all the species we had the honor of ringing were local residents of the area. As September marked the early stages of the migratory season, these cherished inhabitants remained steadfast, offering us a glimpse into their world, unspoiled by the comings and goings of transient species.

                                                                                                                      – By Susan Ng’ang’a

Chiming in with Feathers: The Avian Adventure Chronicles

Despite the less-than-ideal weather that greeted the Nairobi Ringing team that morning, their determination remained unwavering as they embarked on a groundbreaking venture at the picturesque Giraffe Centre in Karen. Being the inaugural ringing activity at this unique location, their gracious host, Daniel Mutua, extended a warm welcome on a Friday evening, allowing ample time to strategically position the mist nets. These nets were carefully situated to harmonize with the diverse habitats and ecosystems that define the sprawling Giraffe Centre sanctuary, which unfurls from the heart of the Centre and unfolds into a lush, sloping terrain, eventually giving way to the bushland areas as it ascends.

The meticulous placement of these mist nets was guided by a singular objective: to cast a wide net, so to speak, in order to beckon an array of avian species representative of the Centre’s rich biodiversity.

Beyond the act of capturing and ringing the birds, this exercise transcended the realm of mere activity—it evolved into a profound learning experience. The primary aim was to glean insights and knowledge, to pave the path for the most effective and informed approach to ringing within the Giraffe Centre in the days to come.

As the mist nets were carefully erected and the avian visitors were captured, the team forged a deeper understanding of the birds’ behaviors and movements within the sanctuary. This accumulation of knowledge, like the mist nets themselves, spanned the diverse range of habitats, painting a comprehensive picture of the avian tapestry within the Centre’s embrace.

Looking to the future, the Nairobi Ringing team envisioned a monthly commitment to this remarkable site. Their intention was clear: to cultivate a sustainable ringing program that would not only enrich our understanding of the avian world within the Giraffe Centre but also contribute to the conservation and preservation of this natural haven. In the grand tapestry of nature, every ringed bird became a stitch, weaving a story of insight, curiosity, and a commitment to nurturing and safeguarding the extraordinary diversity that graced the Giraffe Centre sanctuary.

                                                                                                               – By Susan Ng’ang’a

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

How land owners and Wildlife Conservancies work together in Athi Kapiti.

When people live side-by-side with wildlife, conflicts are bound to happen. This is a common scenario in the Athi Kapiti wildlife dispersal area of Nairobi National Park. Therefore there is a need to find peace between humans and wildlife. One way we seek to accomplish this is through leasing land in areas adjacent to wildlife protected areas like the Athi Kapiti area.

The land lease program has been running for the last 2 decades, under the stewardship of The Wildlife Foundation (TWF). TWF identifies prime wildlife habitat in the Sholinke area of the Nairobi National Park Wildlife Dispersal area. They then enrol the land owners in the Land Lease program. The land owners are given lease payments in 3 instalments, at the beginning of each school session. (September, January & April). In 2022-2023, Giraffe Centre committed to leasing 750 acres of local community land to support TWF’s lease program.

This program has been instrumental in promoting harmony between humans and wildlife in this area. The financial incentive for landowners gives them a chance to appreciate wildlife. As a result, both domestic and wild animals can seek pasture freely. This also allows open routes for migratory animals.

AFEW Kenya is proud to be part of this program, which has been a success in many ways. Human-wildlife conflict cases have fallen in this area as it’s a major dispersal area for the Nairobi National Park. Furthermore, it’s an income source for landowners. As a by-product of this initiative, land owners have become fierce protectors of wildlife on their land against poachers. More importantly, this program supports the Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4 on quality education, SDG number 17 on multi-stakeholder partnership for sustainable development and SDG no. 15 on protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable utilizations of terrestrial ecosystems.

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

2021 AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre Annual Environmental Competition

Every year, AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre hosts an environmental competition that seeks to get student views on various environmental issues of the day.

This year, our environmental competition theme is the same as last year’s competition, which is “Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Healthy Future.”

To get the poster, click here. If you know a student or a school in our country Kenya, kindly recommend this competition to them.