Meet Ken Njapit, a native of the Maasai Mara, with a dream of becoming a conservationist and safari guide in the Mara. The world needs more young people like Ken! We are so happy to help him reach his dream by supporting his journey through a hands-on college program for young conservationists at Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
by Ken Njapit
Hello, my name is Ken Njapit. I am 23 years old and a college student at Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. Today, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Oliveseed Kenya, an organization that has been my savior in my educational journey.
Oliveseed Kenya, a remarkable organization, is a beacon of hope for young African children like myself. They have generously sponsored my tuition fees and school trip expenses, and provided essential books required for my coursework. This support has been invaluable and has allowed me to focus on my studies and strive for excellence in my academic pursuits. Oliveseed Kenya has made incremental strides in uplifting my community in Maasai Mara by developing School Libraries, Learning Centers, Labs, and other educational resources since 2017.
In 2017, just to mention, I was still in school at Mulot High School, Bomet County. Still a young lad, with my only vision to pass exams and play basketball, life was very uncertain. My situation at home was terrible. There are 9 children in my family, and many of us had to drop out of school, as our family could not afford school fees. I stayed in school, but after high school could not afford college, so I stayed home for several years trying to find a way. University was a dream just ahead of me, yet so far. In Kenya, one can pass exams but still lead a life of uncertainties. College is so expensive and far from home. This is always stressful, and if you are unlucky in finding a scholarship and your community doesn’t step up to aid in your studies, one is wasted. I know many of my friends who dropped out of school completely due to lack of school fees. That’s the bare truth of living in a developing country. I guess but we always hope for the best, as hope isn't a bad thing. For me I was lucky thanks to Oliveseed Kenya.
At Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, I have studied community-based conservation, ecology, tour guiding, and geography. I have also had the incredible opportunity to participate in field trips to the Southern Kenya Circuit, including Tsavo National Park and the Indian Ocean at Mombasa and Malindi; and the Southwestern Kenya Circuit, to Lake Victoria, Lake Nakuru, and Maasai Mara National Reserve. Like most children from Maasai Mara, I had never been to any of our country's parks before. We documented the flora and fauna and learned how fragile these ecosystems are. These were enriching experiences that broadened my horizons and allow me to appreciate the beauty and diversity of our nation. I will forever cherish the memories from these trips and the learning they provided. My goal is to safeguard these ecosystems for future generations and to foster harmonious coexistence between humanity and the environment.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Oliveseed Kenya is their personal involvement and dedication to the students they support. The organization's personnel, led by the visionary director Amos Kipeen and the compassionate head Barbs Mackraz, go beyond financial aid. They have a unique and heartfelt approach, maintaining one-on-one almost weekly chats with students to monitor their progress and offer guidance. This level of engagement creates a supportive environment and motivates us to give our best.
My journey with Oliveseed began through a providential connection with Amos, who became a godfather to me. He introduced me to Barbs, who, in turn, became like a mother figure, always ensuring that I had the necessary resources to excel in my studies at Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. The care and concern they have shown me have been instrumental in my academic success, and I can't thank them enough.
As I reflect on my journey, I believe it is crucial for Oliveseed Kenya to grow. By extending their support to more deserving students across Africa, the organization can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our continent. This could encompass career guidance, school monitoring, and post-school support, helping students establish their roots and find meaningful careers for a brighter future.
I am almost finished with my program at Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. I express my heartfelt appreciation to Oliveseed Kenya, Barbs, and Amos for their unwavering support and dedication; and to Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
Looking ahead, my aspiration is to work alongside Barbs and Amos at Oliveseed Kenya after completing my education. I want to contribute my efforts to ensure that Oliveseed reaches deeper into the hearts and homes of African children, providing them with the same life-changing opportunities that I have been fortunate to receive.
Together, let's continue this noble journey of empowering young African minds and making a lasting impact on our communities.