Helping Hands

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a 62 000 acre community-based conservation initiative in northern Kenya. Home to the critically endangered black rhino and an extraordinary array of iconic wildlife (elephants, lions, giraffes, the rare Gevry’s zebra, and over 400 species of birds), Lewa takes a multi-faceted approach to animal conservation—one that recognizes the vital importance of involving and supporting the local community.

62K
Acres Conserved

World-class wildlife monitoring and anti-poaching efforts are complemented by investment in local education, healthcare, micro-enterprise, youth empowerment, and tourism. By nurturing the inter-dependent relationship between the natural environment and human behaviour, Lewa demonstrates that conservation works best when everyone is involved.

These projects have also underscored the wisdom of a human-focused approach to conservation.

Our Involvement
In partnership with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and in coordination with our Key program, the Charles & Rita Field-Marsham Foundation donated funds to create a library in Lewa Primary, a previously neglected county school on the outskirts of the conservation area. Taking a lead from the community, our effort was specifically focused on a need for books and a safe, supportive educational space. What started as a library for students has evolved into a de facto community centre where children, parents and teachers are welcome and encouraged to learn and get involved. Not only has the library sparked a sense of pride within the local community, but it’s helped raise awareness of the vital role that people must play in protecting precious natural resources and the circular benefit of doing so.
A further initiative of the Charles & Rita Field-Marsham Foundation was the building of a girls’ dormitory for students of the school. For students living in nomadic communities of the Rift territory, the long walk to and from school can be a dangerous and exhausting obstacle to education. By providing young female students with a safe space to live during the school term, the project has dramatically reduced absenteeism and drop-out rates.
Our work with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has highlighted the value of partnering with committed local organizations and continuing to grow and evolve projects based on local response. These projects have also underscored the wisdom of a human-focused approach to conservation.
Coming together

Visit lewa.org to learn more about the program.