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Kenya: Working with schools around a rhino sanctuary

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located at the foot of Mount Kenya in Africa. Through conservation and anti-poaching units, it has succeeded in developing one of the largest populations of white and black rhinos in Africa. Lewa supports five local schools and a medical clinic. The Conservancy is the main employer in this part of Kenya. The local population is fully involved and has benefited enormously through daily involvement in wildlife management and the development of tourism on their own ancestral lands, which surround the Conservancy.

Fewer than 2,000 black rhinos now exist compared to over 70,000 in the 1960s and 15,000 in the early 1970s. The population has been drastically reduced due to poaching for their horn, which is used in Chinese medicine and for making dagger handles in Yemen. Since its formation, the Conservancy has not lost a single rhino to poaching. Continued success depends upon the support of the local people as well as financial assistance from the global community.

Eco-Sys Action has already sponsored the full renovation of a classroom at Lewa Down School and the purchase of new desks. But the goal is to go much further than this and sponsor both one full school and a clinic to increase environmental awareness and show to the people living on the edge of the park how they can benefit from keeping this nature intact.

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