Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro Elephant Landscape Kenya
When IFAW began working in the previously unprotected space between the Tsavo and the Amboseli National Parks, IFAW learned that these pastoral communities value and desire educational opportunities for their youth but are faced with lack of finances to enable education. The IFAW Scholars Program is a vital element of improving the lives of people, animals, and the place the Maasai people and elephants call home.
IFAW has been funding scholarships for the youths of the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch (OOGR) in Kenya since 2014, as part of a larger agreement made between the Maasai communities and IFAW. Early IFAW scholars have returned home to improve their communities and protect the wildlife in their region. Clan leaders and community members nominate standout students who otherwise would be unable to attend school or university without the IFAW scholarships.
IFAW scholarships open a world of opportunities for local community youths from poor families living in the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch, a community that IFAW has partnered with for nearly a decade. The scholarships not only provide future employment and therefore income for the community, but also generate the necessary skills vital to the conservation and protection of natural resources.
Securing alternative employment will transition IFAW scholars from exclusive dependance on livestock and agriculture and reduce habitat competition with wildlife. Educated community youths are given employment opportunities that benefit the community locally - like wildlife conservation, healthcare, and education. Others might find work in urban centers and provide a new income source for their families and community.
IFAW's goal is to provide funding for these community youths now and during the coming years so that young people and animals can thrive together.
Sources by IFAW.