Avunjaye nazi ni lazima ale tui yake. The one who cracks the coconut should consume the cream.
~Swahili proverb

As the Swahili proverb above tells us, those who work hard should enjoy the fruits of their labour. Our Conservation Scholars have been doing just that – enjoying a well-earned break from their studies! August is holiday time for Kenyan schools, so we took 23 of our Conservation Scholars on an adventure to Solio Game Reserve for a three day camping trip. For two of our scholars, Terry and Tyson, term was out for more than just the summer, as they graduated from high school and now begin university.

Nervous scholars on their first camping trip

Solio Camp-Out
Our group of scholars arrived at Solio Game Reserve excited and a little nervous. For all of them, it was their first-time camping and sleeping out under the stars in the wild. It was also the first time for most to see Solio’s diverse wildlife, including close encounters with incredible numbers of rhinos. The students became experts in how to tell the difference between black and white rhinos after listening to the Kenya Wildlife Ranger’s talk.

One of the main goals of Solio’s camp-out was to enable our new scholars to meet the current ones – to mingle, to chat, to hear about what happens in the programme and to get inspired by each other’s stories. So, as well as game drives and the usual camping fun of playing animal charades around the fire, there were teambuilding activities and informal talks.

Stories around the campfire

Students visited Solio Lodge and chatted to the managers, safari guides and housekeeping teams about what it takes to get to where they are now in their careers. There was a goal-setting discussion and a powerful talk from a lady who went through female genital mutilation (FGM) and is now campaigning to stop this practice. Our graduates, Terry and Tyson, shared stories of their time in high school, amusing the younger scholars.

Campfire stories from the graduates talking about their time in high school were funny and inspiring for the younger scholars.

Onwards and upwards
For two of our campers, Terry and Tyson, the trip signalled the end of their high school chapter and the beginning of an exciting new journey at university. Tyson Lekakwar, our Samburu warrior scholar, is heading off to study International Tourism at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. You might recognise him from when we shared news of his cultural rite of passage as a young Samburu. Tyson’s dream then was to work with wildlife and manage a lodge, so he’s certainly on the right track to achieving his goals.

Terry Lantei

Tyson Lekakwar

Terry Lantei from Amboseli was our second camper heading off to college. He has joined the Technical University of Kenya to study Accounting. Terry has also been featured in our past communication when he enlisted the help of his sponsor to distribute food to vulnerable people in his community during a drought. We know he’ll be doing more for his community with his business acumen.

Success comes to those who act. The key is to focus on your goals, not the obstacles.
~ Terry Lantei, our Conservation Scholar who has now graduated and started University

Ice breakers to help the scholars get to know one another

Conservation Scholars
For any of you that may not have heard about our Conservation Scholarship Programme, it’s an initiative we began in 2015 which helps our guests to sponsor talented local students through four years of secondary education. Having gained momentum year on year, we now have 35 pupils enrolled. With the help of their sponsors, these children are able to attend school and have the opportunity to pursue their future dreams.

With the growth of the programme, we’ve come to realise that our scholars would benefit greatly from continued guidance as they begin their early careers. As such, our mentorship programme is getting underway, with two members of our office team graciously accepting the role of mentors to Terry and Tyson. We can’t wait to see more of our scholars flourish and grow as young adults.

Find out more about our Conservation Scholarship Programme by visiting our Footprint foundation.