Kijana views the several week break from classes as a valuable time for experiential learning. Grades 4,5,6 and 7 students took part in three significant exploratory excursions in different regions of the country from the beginning of March through April 25th. Students and teachers visited and explored Rusinga Island, Kakamega Forest, Kembu Camp and the Nakuru region, Nairobi and the Masai Mara. The exploratory educational ventures have been made possible by a generous grant from the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, of Wheaton, Ill. We have designed and are expanding and fine-tuning our environmental education program, which has been named “Care, Share and Explore.” It is based upon the overarching premise of “Care of God’s Creation, which is the theme underlying the grant.
At Rusinga Island, students visited and stayed at the Wayando Beach Eco-lodge, explored permaculture activities and tree planting programs, as well as visited Ruma National Park. At Kakamega Forest, students camped for two nights and hiked in the forest and learned of the importance of the forest to the regional eco-system. While visiting Kembu Camp, they learned about milk cows, making butter, knitting, and participated in archery and team building activities. Our young explorers also had the chance to meet and learn from the “Wildlife Warriors” of Kenya, an organization dedicated to protecting wildlife. The Masai Mara was a major excursion as most of our students have rarely left their local community. Upon return, students will participate in reflection activities and write about and express the experiences artistically. It was a powerful experience of their young lives.