Kenya is suffering from severe destruction of its natural habitat with deforestation occurring at an alarming rate and catastrophic consequences for communities and wildlife (http://www.mountkenyatrust.org/threats.htm).
On a trip to Kenya in the Summer of 2013, Thom worked with Ndanai Polytechnic College in Ndanai, a small town in western Kenya with a population of aprox 5,000. By working with the college leaders, a student committee was formed to encourage collaboration with the town, to develop self-sufficiency and ownership of positive change and inspire innovation in responsible use of existing resources.
When interviewed and asked “What problems do you face as a college and a community?” the response from students was unanimous:
“We want a clean and tidy environment, and we want to plant trees”
In just 2 weeks, through extensive community engagement..
*the entire college grounds were cleared of rubbish and transformed into a place to respect and nurture;
*75 trees and flowering plants were planted at the college;
*the community football pitch was cleared of human waste and litter with the active involvement of the local team Ndanai Blue Stars F.C. and their supporters and Ndanai Junior School;
*750 holes were dug for tree planting by 250 school children;
*creative marketing for the project was produced by Kagasek Girls Boarding school and place around the town;
*funding was secured for the planting of 1150 tree saplings;
*250 people from the community came together and cleared the entire town of refuse, filling 3 industrial trailers of plastic, broken glass and house-hold waste;
*750 trees were planted in a final community event by the chief, local home for disabled people, the town chairman, the football team, local teachers, school and college pupils and members of the community;
*A celebration of community collaboration for the town and its people with speeches by community leaders to mark the achievements and change in Ndani, marked through local culture, music and dance.
To read the amazing story on how all this happened go to The Roots of a Movement
The College have been inspired since the summer’s events to do the following:
- The carpentry department were contracted to construct chairs as part of motivation for the enterprise.
- The clothing department did research to establish that fabric bags used by primary school have got market in the community.
- Workshops are kept tidy, tools sharpened and grounds are kept clean. A maintenance schedule was put in place for the whole term.