Elewana Collection continuously works with communities in areas they operate, striving to improve the standards of living for those who reside nearby through their charitable arm, Land and Life Foundation. They recently received a donation from Birgit Reimann and Constantine Panoussi of SKÅL International Monaco, which was allocated towards a new project in Amboseli where the Elewana Tortilis Camp is located and supports the local school, Esiteti Primary School.
It is essential that children in their supported schools not only get the academic skills required for life but basic skills, such as growing produce for the betterment of the community. We can all agree that environmental conservation is key in achieving most of the sustainable development goals and culture has played a major role in inhibiting the access to education for most pastoral communities but this barrier is slowly being broken down.
In certain areas, the country is affected by drought, which affects the community in livelihood and lifestyle. For example, when there is drought, families migrate in search of pasture and often leave their children in the boarding schools. The parents’ expectation is that the school should be able to cater to the needs of the children.
From this insight, the concept of the outdoor classroom project came to light. Providing a successful shamba (meaning ‘farm’ in Swahili) for the school they support in Amboseli and a number of other benefits, like teaching the students to grow their own produce. The project aims to achieve a sustainable solution to a number of problems.
Land & Life engaged an agricultural contractor Meshack and Joel Farms Ltd to implement the project and put in place the required infrastructure. The shamba took 2 weeks to complete from start to finish and the teachers are now trained on the drip irrigation system and crop management planning. They are expecting the first crops to be planted shortly!
This project will serve to educate this predominantly pastoralist community in ways of supporting themselves above and beyond their traditional means. The introduction of simple yet effective crop growing provides a way to improve community drought resilience and self-sustainability. As they are learning, the garden will also provide basic vegetables to the school for consumption. This will improve the food security of the school.
When staying at Elewana Tortilis Camp in Amboseli guests are welcome to visit the school and the Shamba project to see how the children are doing and get involved in the community that Elewana is a part of.