School Enterprise Led Facility (SELF)
First, Kenya is one of the least-forested countries in Africa, with only 7% tree cover. For Homabay, the forest cover still stands at 2.6%, low than Turkana (7%) and national target of 10%. Forest loss has led to reduced biodiversity, droughts, flash floods, crop failures, and more. All of these are exacerbated by climate change due dangerous human activities.
Second, trees provide life, food and general shelter to humans and animals. Not planting and general cutting forest trees makes us both vulnerable, risky and socioeconomically malnourished.
Although there are some forest management systems and forests in place, a lot still needs to be done in terms promotion, protection, conservation and restoration. As a result, we have embarked on a project dubbed “School Enterprise Led Facility (SELF). The main goal of the project is to green our school through an income-generating enterprise for enhanced management.
We works with community partners across Homabay to plant trees and restore degraded lands. What’s more, we aim to increase tree cover in schools, churches and communities across the Homabay County in a way that is useful to local communities, giving them the means to improve their lives and prosper.
What We Done
What started a joke has now gained publicity beyond illusion and doubt. Actually, we were inspired with the lessons gathered from 2021 YETU Bootcamp. In the program, we wanted to implement SPADE project but reception at the round, Homabay was not welcoming. We failed and we had to realign our mission and resonate it with community “minds”.
Series of internal and external consultations and partnerships were launched between 1-20th October 2021. In the end, a six-team bench was initiated and tasked to identify, engage and mobilize trees, mentors, churches and schools. After two weeks, the team was able to mobilize four partners namely Homabay Community Diaspora Community, Kenya Forest Services, Riana Development Network, 10 schools, 3 churches and locals within East Kabuoch Location. This translated into donation and planting of 3,400 trees within 10 schools (primary and secondary), and 3 churches. Some of the schools include Magina Primary, Aluor Mixed Secondary among others.
This event was graced and attended by a number of representatives from NGOs, schools, local administration, churches, government agencies (KFS), media outlets and locals. Throughout the event, contacts and agreements were made and series of community-based projects were discussed and proposed.
Key of them include holding monthly webinars and debates on environmental protection and restorations, formation of local environmental management fora and joint resource mobilization, and capacity building around agriculture, water and sanitation, and environment for enhanced income-generation, awareness and policy and program advocacy within and outside Homabay County, Kenya.
For this program, our strategic plan is pegged on two quotes;
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, Lao Tzu and;
- The word impossible is only found in the dictionary of fools, Napoleon
Practically, we target to plant 10, 000 trees more within ten public schools and churches within Ndhiwa Sub County, Kenya. Borrowing insights from Magina events, we have planned or scheduled series of planting events between Nov-Dec 2021.
In this essence, Odhiambo Rambo, Abura Mixed, Mbani Primary, Ratanga Primary, Got-Kojowi Primary and Secondary Schools becomes our this next week target and each will receive 1,000 trees. This seems a big task but we have to deliver and make these schools greener.
What affords our success has a lot to do with the incredible support and partners get from local organizations and individuals.
So far, we created and forged partnership with four organization namely KFS, Homabay County Diaspora Community, 10 schools and 3 churches. We have also reached and requested support from Coop Bank, NEMA, KFRI, Ndhiwa Community Bank, Tom Mboya Labour College and KMTC (Homabay)
Likewise, we talked and agreed with the target schools to donate trees (teachers, students and board). In the coming days, we shall reach and engage Sukari Industry, Green Movement, and CFD for the support.
“Our schools, churches and communities must be green. It is purely our role and responsibility to promote, protect, conserve and restore our forests”, Mr. Illah David, Programme Coordinator
Strengthen Community Resilience (SCORE) is a registered and youth-led community based organization. It all started as an educational program in 2011 and later atrophied into a CBO in 2019 purposely to strengthening community resilience against extreme situations of poverty, diseases and ignorance through capacity building, livelihood support and need-based advocacy in Homabay County, Kenya.
Since its inception, we have worked around education, agriculture, WASH, environment and ICT. Through consultations, we have initiated and partly implemented four projects namely, Supporting Primary Education Among Kenyans (SPEAK), Smallholder Poultry Agribusiness Development (SPADE), Sexual Health Empowerment (SHE) and School Enterprise Led Facility (SELF). As a result, we have supported 66 students, mentored and provided healthy kits to 500 girls, trained and provided assorted poultry kits to 38 registered groups, and planted 3,400 trees in 10 schools and 3 churches in Ndhiwa Sub County, Kenya. We have also created and sustained partnership within NGOs, CSOs, government, schools, churches, businesses & locals.