The Sustainability Birding Company (SBC) is an ecotourism company based in Kenya. We want to set up a new project, which will tackle one of the major barriers to protecting Kenya's spectacular but often endangered birdlife: the lack of knowledge of and interest in birdlife amongst young people in Kenya. We believe children are natural lovers of all wildlife and some of the best advocates for conservation. But when they live in urban crowded informal settlements like Korogocho Slums in Nairobi, facing problems like having to drop out of school aged 8, collecting garbage to earn money for their family, and having little to zero chance for play or travel, they never actually get to see their own country's beautiful wildlife. While tourists fly in and have the trip of a lifetime, it is a real tragedy and an injustice that the very people who are most likely to be advocates in the long-term don't have the chance to see the beautiful Flamingos we've all seen photos of, the colourful Bee-eaters delighting their viewers, let alone the majestic elephants and rhinos also at risk of extinction. We who've been privileged enough to get out into nature and feel the beauty all around us know that an experience on safari can change us: it humbles us, reminds us how we have a duty to protect, - but it also does wonders for our own mental and emotional health. Ultimately it brings us joy! SBC wants to bring a little piece of this joy to at least 200 children a year and eventually 1200. To do this we need your help.
Birdwatching without binoculars, if you've ever tried it, is far from ideal. We want these children to see these stunning birds up close and enjoy their real beauty. We've estimated the cost of 40 pairs of Bresser binoculars - colourful and hardy binoculars for our younger children between 6 and 12, and the cost of 40 pairs of Levenhuks - slightly better and more suitable for children between 12 and 18. Added to this, we also want to produce Kenya's first child-friendly 'super cool' bird checklist, in Swahili and in English, that they can use to check off and look for the most stunning - and the most at-risk birds that live in Kenya. The funds will pay for a graphic designer to help with this, and for us to be able to print off a copy for each of our young birders. Our hope is that they keep this for life - taking it home, looking out for birds (surprisingly easy to spot even in a slum, such is Kenya's birdlife diversity!), and at the least becoming a life-long protector of birds, and at best maybe even one of the world's future ornithology or wildlife experts!
Other funds will go towards the cost of renting open-roofed safari style minibuses with room enough for 8 children and a teacher so they're not squashed, are safe and protected, and can be helped by the guide to see great views and birds. We'll also give them some lunch of course, and make sure their national park fees are covered, so their schools/care homes/street child centres don't have to worry about the expense.