Nairobi, Kenya, November 06, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Conservation of Kenya's Wildlife: Woni Safaris believe in the conversation of Kenya's inheritance, their wildlife. While other Africa countries pride themselves in having natural minerals like gold and diamonds and oil, in Kenya their pride lies in the conservation of theer wildlife and more so the endangered species. Woni Safaris are the official tour operators for The Friends of The Elephant. They have been providing services to the foster parents of Friends of the Elephants since their inception up to date. The number of the foster parents has been on the rise every year from the initial 11 persons to the current approximate over 100 Persons.
Conservation of their Environment: Woni Safaris work with local schools in Kenya on tree planting projects where by they accord their clients to leave a mark when they came on safari by planting a tree.
Conversation of the African Culture: Woni Safaris, are very proud of the African culture and are proud to showcase it to their clients. They give their clients an opportunity to visit and interact with the local communities.
Education: Their clients also get an opportunity of visiting local schools where they have child sponsorship projects as well as donating of schoolbooks, sports uniforms and accessories.
Poverty Alleviation: Woni Safaris have incorporated Eco tourism as one of their main products and this has proved to be very popular with their past clients. They donate a percentage of all the activities they undertake during their eco tours at the places they visit. This generates income for different projects as well as giving the local community another alternative of earning a living as opposed to activities, which destroy the environment such as sand harvesting and tree cutting for fire wood.
On going Projects: Woni safaris in-conjunction with its clients has under taken the following projects:
The Education Sponsorship
The Tree Planting
The Construction of a Pre-School
School Books and Sports Accessories
The clients undertake the above projects after they see the needs of concerned communities as follows:
The Education Sponsorship: When Woni Safaris take their clients to visit the Masai in their villages, the clients get to notice that some girls as young as 14 years old with young babies strapped at their backs. Almost always travelers want to know why these children do not go school and are informed that the young girls are people’s wives as the Masai community marry off their girls because the younger they are, the more dowry they fetch. The tourits then want to know whether there’s something which can be done, and are informed that there are schools, which are set up for this particular problem, but they are private and expensive and the community cannot afford them. A client will want to know whether they can assist and Woni Safaris thus facilitate the process by getting the parents consent to allow their young girls to attend boarding schools until they finish their education. That girl who gets education sponsorship is never married off, as the community now understands that education is a long-term asset to the community as opposed to some few cows and goats paid for as dowry.
Every time Woni Safaris visits a local school, they ensure that their clients sign the schools visitors’ book. This is normally done in the head teacher’s office. It is here that they get to know the history of the school, when it was started, how many teachers and pupils, what is the school's performance in their final year to enable the pupils to proceed to high school. A lot of information is posted around the headmaster office and while the headmaster is talking, others continue signing the visitors book, and the rest are busy securitizing what is posted on the walls.
The gender in school dropouts varies from one community to the other. For example, in the Masai community, the girls drop out of school in larger numbers than the boys. This is due to the fact that the girls are withdrawn from school to be married off to bring wealth to the family in the form of dowry. In the Kamba community, it is the opposite as the boys are the ones who drop out of school in larger numbers than girls. This is mainly due to the poverty levels in the region and as soon as a boy is 14 years; he is old enough too fend for himself as well as for his family. The fact that the boy child has no chance of proceeding to high school also contributes highly to this factor.
To encourage the boy child to excel in school with the hope of proceeding to high school, past Woni clients came up with the concept of paying school fees for the top-performing student in Nzioani Primary School. This is a pilot project, which will be duplicated to other schools as soon as they have sufficient funds. Currently they have two pupils from this school sponsored but unfortunately, both of them are girls. The programme has however instilled a sense of competition among the pupils and the overall performance of the school has improved tremendously.
The Tree Planting Project: On one of the development charts of the school Woni Safaris visits, top on the list was “fencing of the school compound”. This was so that the school can embark on tree planting project without fear of domestic animals from the surrounding village destroying the young trees. One client took note of this and when she went back home, she started fundraising for tree seedlings for this school for a dollar a tree and this was very successful. She emailed back with this exciting news but was informed that there was nothing much we could do until the school is fenced. She however gave instructions for the tree holes to be done as she will sort the issue of the fence herself on her next visit to Kenya hence the birth of our tree planting projects.
Initially, when the eco tour concept was being born, Woni Safaris intended to have clients plant trees in the schools they visit so that they may leave a landmark in Kenya but this was not possible due to the lack of a fences. Now that one school has been fenced they have gone ahead and planted over 500 hundred trees and this project is still ongoing and it is very impressive to the local people as they can already see the benefits of eco tourism.
Construction of a Pre-school: In their efforts of poverty alleviation, they encourage the women groups who do the welcome dance for their clients at the villages to come up with some income generating projects targeting the tourists. In the Masai villages, the women are very good at their bead work whereby they sell the finished products to their clients making as much profit as possible since they eliminate the middle man in this process. This will go a long way in constructing a pre-school.
Conclusion: Woni Safaris does not therefore only sell safaris to Kenya and Tanzania but also facilities the “Traveler’s Philanthropy."