YOUTH CONSERVATION AWARENESS PROGRAM (YCAP) IN CONJUNCTION WITH KENYATTA UNIVERSITY BIRDING CLUB (KUBC) – WORKSHOP
THEME: THE IMPORTANCE OF BIRDS TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
28th SEPTEMBER, 2018
Youth Conservation Awareness Program (YCAP) teamed up with the Kenyatta University Birding Club (KUBC) to organise a workshop in Kenyatta University. The theme of the day was ‘The Importance of Birds to the Environment,’ and this workshop was a first of its kind to be hosted by the birding club. It is such activities that are intended to meet the mutual goal of YCAP and KUBC of awareness creation and conservation.
YCAP is in charge of sustainability at Cisticola Tours LTD. YCAP’s primary focus is to mobilise and sensitise Kenyan youth on issues that affect their environment and to mentor them on their journey to becoming conservation enthusiasts. Although YCAP was not the host for this workshop, the organisation was proactive in ensuring that the event was successful in various ways. These include bringing in partners for the workshop and availing awareness materials to be used in the event.
Thanks to the KUBC officials, we were able to get a spacious room where the workshop was held.
A total of 43 students attended the workshop. All the students came from different disciplines across the institution. However, a significant share of the audience was from the School of Environmental Studies. The patron of the club, Dr. Jemimah Simbauni, also attended. The thing that stood out was that some students came from disciplines we did not expect such as Pharmacy, Medicine, Early Childhood Development and Economics among others. This was a good sign, and we all agreed that future workshops should have even more students who come from other disciplines apart from Environmental Studies.
We had professionals from these institutions:
• Youth Conservation Awareness Program
• Cisticola Tours LTD
• Hifadhi Africa Organisation
• Kenyan Economics Organisation
We also thank the institutions that donated awareness materials that were used in the workshop. These institutions were:
1. East Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program
2. East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS)
3. Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK)
These were the main activities of the day:
1. Bird Walk
Before the workshop started, the students went for a bird walk at the Kenyatta University Arboretum. The bird walk was led by John Wanyoike (Cisticola Tours LTD). This is a trademark activity of the hosting club, and everybody had fun watching and discussing the behaviour of birds that were seen. A total of 14 different species of birds were seen in the 1-hour bird walk.
After the walk, the students enjoyed watching conservation-themed films. They later watched Washington Wachira’s TEDxGateway Talk ‘Why we should all love birds.’ This was a special moment as it gave the students a chance to learn about conservation in an interesting way. The students would later be quizzed on what they learnt from the films.
3. Talks From Experts
The talks of the day were presented by three presenters: Wilfred Savali (YCAP) gave a talk on Education for Sustainable Development while Ruth Wanjiku (KUBC) and John Wanyoike (Cisticola Tours LTD) gave talks on the importance of birds to the society and the environment. John Tumaini (Hifadhi Africa) also gave a brief talk about his organisation’s humanitarian work in underprivileged areas of Kenya.
We would like to give special thanks to Yvonne A. de Jong, Ph.D. and Professor Tom Butynski of East Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation program who donated two pocket guides of the Primates of East Africa to the club. This pocket guide is a very resourceful guide that documents all primates you can find in East Africa, where they are found, and how to identify them. This guide was later pinned to a notice board in the department of environmental studies and will be a good reference for the students.
AWARDING OF CERTIFICATES
At the end of the workshop, all students received a certificate of participation from KUBC. All the organisations that attended also received a certificate.
YCAP would like to thank KUBC for being an amazing host, and for making sure the event took place according to plan. Awareness creation is a major tool for promoting conservation and YCAP intends to replicate the success of this event in other institutions. It is such workshops that can boost conservation in the country and the entire world and KUBC promised to join hands with YCAP to spread the word around the country. We also take this opportunity to thank all the students who attended and the KUBC Patron Dr. Jemimah Simbauni for her relentless support to the club.