In 2019, we launched East Africa’s first All-Women Anti-Poaching Ranger Academy and 27 female rangers have now graduated from the academy on Segera, having undergone intense selection processes, months of holistic training and field exercises. With advice from Damien Mander (Founder of IAPF) and lead by highly qualified instructors, training includes Patrol Tactics, Conservation, Community Engagement, Tracking, Drill, Law & Arrest, Canine Handling and First Aid. Rangers are also encouraged to act as mentors in their communities, empowering other women, sharing their education and promoting dialogue as a primary driver for peace, intercultural understanding and preservation.
Kenya is experiencing an alarming decrease in forest-covered land, from 10% to 6% in the last decade alone. Deforestation not only leads to land degradation and erosion of topsoil, but it has a critically negative impact on groundwater reserves and the whole ecosystem, affecting flora and fauna as well as communities who rely on land fertility for their own prosperity. We have therefore embarked on our ‘Tree of Life’ initiative to plant over 2 million indigenous trees in coming years, with each new forest forming the shape of a wildlife species (in aerial view), to highlight the importance of conservation and biodiversity.
Our view on Education for Sustainable Development is future-oriented, focused on creating a more ecologically and socially fair world through informed action and ambitious leadership. Having built 6 schools in Kenya (including a Waterbank School awarded ‘Greenest School in the World’ by LEED Architecture), educating 1,800 children, we continue to invest in education and our next objective is to educate 2,500 children by building two additional ‘Waterbank Schools’ by 2028, as well as provide 100 school bursaries and vocational training education for 35 trainees from rural communities annually.
We recognize that in order to achieve household food and income security, as well as raise awareness about the value and protection of biodiversity, Permaculture can serve as a powerful tool through placing the interests of small-scale rural farmers at its core by significantly enhancing farming techniques and making them more productive and sustainable. We are therefore establishing a new Vocational Training Academy for Forestry and Permaculture on Segera, which will hold regular workshops training 20 men and women from Laikipia’s rural communities in theoretical and practical exercises.
As part of our efforts to support the survival of Kenya’s biodiversity, the ZEITZ foundation is planning to construct a new water dam on Segera that will provide a reliable source of water for wildlife, as well as protect the conservancy against the impacts of climate change and Africa’s infrequent rainfall patterns. Following intense environmental surveys and feasibility studies, it was agreed that Segera could hold a reservoir area of 18.9 hectares, to provide sustainable long-term water access for the survival of flora and fauna in the area.
By transforming the age-old tradition of beading into a financially viable enterprise, the SATUBO Beading Group (which stands for and symbolises the unity of its members from different ethnic groups; SAmburu Turkana and BOrana) empowers women, preserving their culture and promoting commerce by offering them an opportunity to earn independent income and financial freedom. To further support this initiative, the ZEITZ foundation has built a SATUBO Kindergarten, giving the women more time and freedom to pursue their handicraft, while their preschool children are safely cared for nearby.